Iranian News Agency Picks up Onion Article as Fact

In this photo released by the official website of the Iranian Presidency Office, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, right, shakes hands with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, at the start of their meeting in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Presidency Office, Mohsen Rafinejad)
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CHICAGO (AP) - A joke by the satirical newspaper The Onion appears to have gotten lost in translation.

An Iranian news agency has picked up as fact a story from the paper about a supposed survey showing a majority of white Americans would rather vote for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (ah-muh-DEE'-neh-zhahd) than President Barack Obama. The only trouble is it was made up, like everything in the just-for-laughs newspaper, which is headquartered in the comedic capital Chicago.

The English-language service of Iran's semiofficial Fars news agency republished the story Friday, several days after it appeared in The Onion.

The Iranian version is copied word-for-word from the original. It leaves out only The Onion's description of Ahmadinejad as "a man who has repeatedly denied the Holocaust and has had numerous political prisoners executed."