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What does Iran and One Direction have in common? (VIDEO)

Footage of “Israelis panicking” while under attack by a barrage of missiles and drones on Saturday, 13 April, has turned out to be a mere concoction of fake news shared by Iran state TV.

The panicked Israelis have since been “identified” by a fact-checker for BBC Monitoring as excited fans of former One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson.

louis tomlinson iran one direction 1
FILE PHOTO: Louis Tomlinson performs at SiriusXM Hits 1 at the SiriusXM Studios on 16 September 2022 in New York City. Photo: Noam Galai/ Getty Images

The Islamic Republic of Iran News Network (IRINN) shared the footage of the fans “claiming that it showed panicking Israelis amid the … Iranian attack”.

‘Panicking Israelis’: Iran goes One Direction with propaganda

Since Iran’s missile attack on Israel, the viral video has been doing the rounds in various languages across X and other social media platforms, including Instagram, Reddit and Telegram.

The clip, however, was taken at the beginning of April outside the Four Seasons hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where fans greeted Tomlinson, who is currently on his Faith in the Future (FITF) world tour.

According to Full Fact, the hotel seen in the background of the video and other clues – the road layout, trees and a ‘galloping horse’ sculpture – confirm the footage was taken in Buenos Aires.

“While we cannot confirm exactly when the footage was filmed, it was being shared on TikTok as early as 6 April, before Iran’s attack, with the caption: “#louistomlinson #argentina #buenosaires,” reported Full Fact.  

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Watch: Former One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson in Buenos Aires

Several other videos of the former One Direction member greeting fans outside the hotel have also been shared in April on platforms such as Instagram.

Tomlinson will be returning to Argentina next month for his concert at the Buenos Aires Estadio Velez Sarsfield on 18 May.

The tour is in support of the former One Direction heartthrob’s second solo album, titled Faith in the Future.

More fake news footage circulated by Iran state TV

IRINN also shared a video claiming to show destruction in Israel following the attack, but another BBC Monitoring fact-checker identified it as footage of a forest fire in Chile.

Iran’s unprecedented Israel attack

The claims follow Iran‘s unprecedented attack on Israel, which elevated tensions in the Middle East to new heights more than six months into a deadly conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

The hundreds of drones and missiles – countered with the help of the United States (US) and European allies – came in retaliation for a deadly 1 April strike widely blamed on Israel that hit Iran’s consulate in Damascus, the capital of Syria.

  • Additional reporting by AFP

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