Fars News Agency

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Fars News Agency
Fars News Agency.jpg
Fars News Agency logo
Abbreviation FNA
Formation 2003; 12 years ago (2003)
Type News agency
Official language
Persian, English, Turkish and Arabic
Seyed Nezamozddin Musavi
Morteza Ghamari Vafa
Website  • farsnews.com (in Persian)
 • english.farsnews.com (in English)

The Fars News Agency (FNA) is a news agency in Iran. While it describes itself as "Iran's leading independent news agency",[1] news organizations such as CNN[2] and Reuters[3] describe it as a "semi-official" news agency with ties to the government. The Wall Street Journal stated the agency is affiliated with the Revolutionary Guard Corps.[4]

History and profile[edit]

Fars News Agency, a privately owned agency, was founded in 2003.[5] The agency's managing director, Saeid Noubari, is a former head of the public relations office of the Tehran Justice Department. The agency's managing editor, Mehdi Fazaeli, is also the spokesman of Iran's Association of Muslim Journalists.

In addition to Persian reporting, the agency also provides news in English, Turkish and Arabic.

Interview with Egyptian president[edit]

In June 2012, it released an interview with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in which he wanted a strategic alliance with Iran. Both the competing Iranian news agency Press TV and the Egyptian news agency MENA have disputed the authenticity of this interview.[6][7]

Rewording of press release[edit]

In May 2012, Human Rights Watch sent out a press release regarding the United Nations' scrutiny of Bahrain. In part, it said: "The voice of the international community has been subdued regarding Bahrain's manifold violations, especially compared with the international response to abuses in Syria, Libya, Iran, and other Middle Eastern countries."[8]

The agency chose to publish it with this wording: "The voice of the international community has been subdued regarding Bahrain's manifold violations, especially compared with the international response to abuses in Israel, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries."[9]

Reposted "news" story by The Onion[edit]

In September 2012, the agency picked up – as fact – a story from The Onion, a satirical newspaper, about a supposed survey showing "an overwhelming majority of rural white Americans would rather vote for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than U.S. President Barack Obama in the upcoming U.S. elections".[10][11] Fars News Agency later apologized for its mistake, with excuse that leading Western media "also had many similar goofs".[12]

The Iranian version copied the original word-for-word, even including a made-up quote from a fictional West Virginia resident who says he would rather go to a baseball game with Ahmadinejad because "he takes national defense seriously, and he'd never let some gay protesters tell him how to run his country like Obama does."[10][11]

"Time machine" story[edit]

In April 2013, the agency carried a story claiming a 27-year-old Iranian scientist had invented a time machine that allowed people to see into the future. A few days later the story was removed, and replaced with a story quoting an Iranian government official that no such device had been registered.[13][14]

"Tall White Alien" story[edit]

In January 2014, the agency reported a story that US Security policy is being driven by "Tall White Aliens" that the US inherited from Adolf Hitler.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About Us". Fars News Agency. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "Iranian Seminarians Denounce Anti-Government Protesters". CNN. 12 December 2009. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "Iran Investigates Reports It Detained Britons-Media". Reuters. 1 December 2009. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  4. ^ Fassihi, Farnaz (21 July 2010). "Iran Says Amiri Spied on U.S.". The Wall Street Journal. (subscription required)
  5. ^ "Media Environment Guide: Iran". BBC Monitoring. 30 July 2009. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 
  6. ^ Paraszczuk, Joanna (25 June 2012). "Morsy Denies Iranian Interview on Peace 'Review'"". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "Egypt rejects report of Morsi comments about Iran ties". Press TV. 25 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Bahrain: Human Rights Body Should Target Repression – Systematic and New Violations and Impunity". Human Rights Watch. 20 May 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Human Rights Violation in Bahrain; from Using Banned Arms to Torturing Protestors". Fars News Agency. 24 March 2013. Archived from the original on 24 March 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Martinez, Michael (29 September 2013). "Iran's News Agency Portrays Satirical Onion Story as Its Own". CNN. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  11. ^ a b McGreal, Chris (28 September 2012). "Iranian News Agency Fars Reports Onion Article on Ahmadinejad as Actual News – Satirical Newspaper's Claim That Americans Would Rather Hang Out with Ahmadinejad over Obama Taken Seriously in Tehran". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  12. ^ Philip Caulfield (1 October 2012). "Iran Fars news agency apologizes for running Onion article saying Americans prefer Ahmadinejad to Obama". Daily News (New York). 
  13. ^ Satherley, Dan (18 April 2013). "Iran Denies Having Time Machine". 3 News. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  14. ^ Vahdat, Ahmed (10 April 2013). "Iranian Scientist Claims to Have Invented 'Time Machine' – An Iranian Businessman Claims to Have Mastered Time with a Machine That Allows Users to Fast Forward up to Eight Years into the Future". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  15. ^ "Snowden Documents Proving “US-Alien-Hitler” Link Stun Russia". Fars News Agency. 12 January 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 

External links[edit]