In an embarrassing error, a billboard in the Iranian city of Shiraz meant to commemorate the country’s eight-year-long war with Iraq accidentally featured images of soldiers from the Islamic Republic’s more perennial rival: the Israel Defense Forces.
Iran is in the middle of its Sacred Defense Week, a week-long holiday meant to commemorate the Iran-Iraq War, fought between the two countries from 1980 until 1988. Unfortunately, one ad in Shiraz, a city in Fars that is Iran’s fifth-largest, purported to show Iranian soldiers gazing out from a mountaintop at the horizon, but instead showed soldiers from Israel, a country revolutionary leader and Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini called “the little satan” (compared to the United States’ “big satan”).
What’s more, the original photo featured a female soldier, who was edited out for the Shiraz billboard, and clouds were put in to replace the original backdrop of a suburban locale. The soldiers’ uniforms in the ad don’t look like Iranian army uniforms, either.
Once the ad’s true nature became known, it was quickly taken down.
The brutal war began when Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded the largely-Arab province of Khuzestan in southwestern Iran, expecting the population to rise against the new Shiite government in Tehran. Instead, the population resisted the Iraqi onslaught, which turned into a scorched-earth massacre…