Iran ran test-fired more long-range missiles overnight, the Associated Press reports. It’s the second set of firings designed to show that the country can protect itself against an attack by the U.S. or Israel. The picture above is from the Iran news agency.
The firings come as the New York Times — and others — dispute the validity of the image of the earlier firing.
Somewhere along the line, a fourth missile got added, the Times’ The Lede blog reported, and the press agency that distributed it in France has now retracted it.
As the above illustration shows, the second missile from the right appears to be the sum of two other missiles in the image. The contours of the billowing smoke match perfectly near the ground, as well in the immediate wake of the missile. Only a small black dot in the reddish area of exhaust seems to differ from the missile to its left, though there are also some slight variations in the color of the smoke and the sky.
There’s no proof that Iran was involved in adding the fourth missile, or whether the initial image was fake, too.