Middle East

The Onion spoofs Iran news agency on Obama-Ahmadinejad story

Screengrab of Fars news agency website

A news agency in Iran has published a report by the satirical news website, The Onion, saying rural white Americans would rather vote for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than Barack Obama.

Quoting The Onion word-for-word, Fars states that an opinion poll also found 77% would rather go to a baseball game or have a drink with Mr Ahmadinejad.

A made-up West Virginia resident is quoted as saying: "I like him better."

The report has not yet been published in Farsi on the agency's website.

The Fars news agency, which is affiliated with the powerful Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), does not credit The Onion for the report on the survey.

The West Virginia resident is also quoted as saying the Iranian leader "takes national defence seriously, and he'd never let some gay protesters tell him how to run his country like Obama does".

Iran banned alcohol after the Islamic revolution in 1979. Homosexuality is punishable by imprisonment or, in some cases, death.

Iranian media and politicians frequently refer to the US as the "Great Satan".

In 2004, China's state-run Beijing Evening News relayed a report by The Onion which said the US Congress was threatening to move out of Washington unless a new Capitol was built.

And in 2009, two Bangladeshi newspapers apologised after publishing an article taken from The Onion which claimed the Moon landings were faked.

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