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The Iranian Catapult - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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It appears that Iran’s belief in the importance of disinformation and media deception, particularly what it has achieved through its numerous media outlets has dragged it behind military and political propaganda in a disgraceful manner.

Inconsistent pictures of its missile tests that were released by Iran have caused a scandal that cannot be ignored since the photographs of launched missiles appear to have been digitally doctored. This has been confirmed by the Americans on a number of levels, in addition to experts and international news agencies that have scrutinized the photographs.

I do not find this strange, however; it is unimportant whether the fourth rocket was launched through Photoshop rather than a launch pad, what is important is that those missiles are nothing but naive military propaganda.

Our region’s history is full of propaganda missiles that couldn’t kill a fly. Jamal Abdul Nasser’s al Zafer and al Qahir missiles did not help in the 1967 war just as al Abbas and al Hussein missiles were of no assistance to Saddam Hussein either. We have all witnessed how the anti-tank missiles fired by Hamas before the calm have only succeeded in wreaking havoc on Gaza.

Iran’s Shahab-3 missiles and others appear to be no different from these eternal missiles in our history that have achieved nothing and has only brought about destruction, backwardness and loss to our region. Even our illusory victories inflict thousands of casualties, not to mention the economic losses or the fall states, such as the case with Iraq.

Photographs of the missile tests and the controversy surrounding their manipulation indicates that the Iranian missiles could be like medieval catapults whereby their launchers would be unable to predict whether they will strike the enemy or backfire on them!

The balances of military power do not lie and are merciless. Not only has Iran failed in depicting its conflict with Tel Aviv or with the US, it has even displayed hostility towards Europe and all the region’s states. Tehran’s missile tricks have confirmed that Iran’s most dangerous enemy is itself.

Iran’s military propaganda and exaggeration in displaying its military might will not save it from a war, on the contrary; it might be a reason for a Western military alliance against it. This is especially more so since Iran has announced that its paper missiles can reach Europe. Therefore, Iran will have succeeded in turning everyone against it – not out of protection for Israel but to protect themselves and the world economy from Iran’s threats.

The danger of what the Iranian leadership has done at the expense of its people and state is that it has shot down its own credibility before the moderate states.

Anyone familiar with the history of post-revolution Iran would know that it has relied on media manipulation, however today after the photographic doctoring has been exposed, how can the Iranians convince the world that they are saying the truth when they say that their nuclear project is for peaceful purposes at a time when Tehran manipulates pictures that millions of people see?

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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