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Not just sexy Kim Jong-un: 5 times the Onion has fooled foreign media

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Iran's Fars news agency: Rural Americans prefer Ahmadinejad to Obama

With Iran's economy struggling under US and European sanctions, US President Barack Obama – who championed the sanctions' implementation – has been none too popular in Tehran.

Given that, the editors of Iran's semi-official news agency Fars must have been quite pleased when in late September, they found a news story in English reporting that 77 percent of rural white Americans would "rather vote for Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than" Obama. Indeed, Fars reposted the story whole hog – and without attribution – on its website.

It was, of course, an Onion article.

Upon realizing their error, the Fars editors withdrew the article, replacing it with "our formal apologies for that mistake."

The unnamed Fars editor-in-chief also noted, perhaps optimistically, that "Although it does not justify our mistake, we do believe that if a free opinion poll is conducted in the US, a majority of Americans would prefer anyone outside the US political system to President Barack Obama and American statesmen."

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