Editor’s note: The heightened tensions with Iran offer an opportunity to examine the ups and downs of an undeclared conflict that has been going on for over 40 years. This falls into the light category. 

When propaganda efforts go wrong, the effect can be hilarious indeed.

Last year, as the Iranian government was celebrating the nation’s struggle against the invading Iraqi forces during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, something went wrong.

Throughout the country festivities and parades were organized and performed. Row upon row of waving Iranian flags and humongous billboards with patriotic signs and mottos engulfed the Iranian urban centers.  People everywhere celebrated the “The Sacred Defense,” as the war is known in Iran.

In the city of Shiraz, however, not everything went as planned. The city council erected a huge billboard in the city’s main plaza. The billboard depicted three soldiers standing on a hilltop and bowing their heads; they were accompanied by patriotic mottos. But something was amiss. The soldiers carried M-16 rifles. They wore foreign fatigues. Indeed, they didn’t look Iranian at all. And the reason was simple: they were Israeli.

It appears that someone used the wrong photograph for the billboard. What’s more surprising, however, is the fact that it was done so knowingly. To the great embarrassment of everyone involved in the festivities, the image had also been edited to omit a female Israeli soldier from the final product.

The contentious billboard (Twitter).