Fact Check: Photo Does NOT Show Iran's Special Forces Raiding India's Embassy In Tehran -- It Is From 2015 Exercise In Germany

Fact Check

  • by: Marlo Lee
Fact Check: Photo Does NOT Show Iran's Special Forces Raiding India's Embassy In Tehran -- It Is From 2015 Exercise In Germany 2015 Germany

Does a photo in a claim on social media show Iran's Special Forces raiding India's embassy in Tehran in 2024? No, that's not true: The photo is from 2015 and shows Germany's Special Forces during a training exercise. Contrary to the claim, this photo and the 2021 Reuters article it originated from had nothing to do with India, Iran, Israel or the late Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

The claim appeared in a post on X, formerly Twitter, (archived here) where it was published on May 19, 2024. The post's caption read:

#BREAKING: Massive News⚠️

Reports are coming in that Iranian intelligence and special forces have raided Indian embassy in Tehran.

Iran got a tip from unknown sources that India might be acting on Israel's behalf to assassinate Iran's President Ibrahim Raisi.

This is what the post looked like on X at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2024-05-20 at 7.39.55 AM.png

(Source: X screenshot taken on Mon May 20 14:16:49 2024 UTC)

The claim followed news that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was killed in a helicopter crash on May 19, 2024.

A reverse image search (archived here) of the photo found a Reuters article from 2021. The article's caption for the photo read, "Soldiers of Germany's Special Forces Commando (KSK) take part in an exercise near Putgarten, Germany September 28, 2015." The 2021 Reuters article did not mention India, Iran, Israel or Iranian President Raisi.

Shayan Sardarizadeh, a journalist for BBC Verify, was one of the first to spot the claim on X as misinformation. His post is below (archived here):

Other Lead Stories fact checks about Iran can be found here.

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Marlo Lee is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Howard University with a B.S. in Biology. Her interest in fact checking started in college, when she realized how important it became in American politics. She lives in Maryland.

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