By Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL
Iran's semiofficial news agency Fars has once again given more ammunition to those critics who refer to the hard-line news outlet as "False" news. Fars has reposted a report on its English website that claims the foreign and domestic policies of the United States have been driven by an "extraterrestrial intelligence agenda" since 1945.
Fars says documents released by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden provide "incontrovertible proof" that the "secret regime" ruling America was created after extraterrestrials -- referred to as "Tall Whites"-- met in 1954 with U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Before being republished by Fars, the report was first posted by the absurdly eccentric website whatdoesitmean.com, which has a reputation for peddling outlandish disinformation.
The article asserts that "Tall Whites" were also behind the rise of Nazi Germany. and it goes on to claim that the aliens are still hell bent on global domination:
To drive the point home, Fars has even created a special graphic, comprising of a picture of U.S. President Barack Obama next to Adolf Hitler against the backdrop of an American flag with an alien life form staring at the reader.
snapshot of the article posted on Fars's website
Iranian media have a record of publishing conspiracy theories and satirical reports as serious pieces of information.
Last September, Fars published the news that a Gallup poll had found that rural white Americans preferred Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad to Barack Obama.
The origin of the poll was the satirical website The Onion, but Fars posted it as hard news without crediting the source. The agency later acknowledged its "mistake."
Following Fars's widely reported error, The Onion subsequently referred to the hard-line news agency as “our Iranian subsidiary."
In June, Mehr, another semiofficial Iranian news agency, claimed in a report that Britain's Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton was Jewish. Mehr even alleged that she was secretly baptized to be able to marry Prince William:
In October, Iran's English-language Press TV reposted on its website areport which insinuated that Pakistani education activist Malala Yousefzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban, was actually a fraud. The report was later removed from the website.
In 2010, Press TV aired a documentary produced by state-controlled television that claimed Neda Agha Soltan, a protester who was shot dead the 2009 postelection crackdown, was an agent of the United States and Britain who staged her own death.
Iran's state TV is known for airing unfounded accusations against political activists. The outlet has also aired forced confessions by activists over the years.
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