Fact Check

Did a U.S. Navy Ship Display This Crude Message Overhead to Iran?

An old fake photo found a new target.

Published Jan. 9, 2020

A photograph shows the words "FUCK IRAN" spelled out on the deck of a U.S. aircraft carrier.

In January 2020, this picture of a U.S. aircraft carrier made the rounds on social media:

tweet fuck iran ship

This was not an authentic picture showing a crude message spelled out for Iran but yet another spin on an old photo-editing stunt, which Snopes debunked back in October 2002.

We rate this new variation as "False," as we did before. As Snopes and others have pointed out, the authentic photograph was taken in 2002 and can be found on several online archives.

ready now navy ship aircraft carrier

The caption for the actual photograph, as described on the U.S. Navy’s website, reads as follows:

At sea aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Sep. 11, 2002 -- In response to the President's message, "Be Ready," USS Abraham Lincoln Sailors spell out "READY NOW" as the Lincoln Battle Group reports on station to conduct combat missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Lincoln and her embarked Carrier Air Wing Fourteen (CVW 14) are currently deployed and will join the Washington Battle Group, which is scheduled to return to its homeport of Norfolk, Va, in the near future. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman Gabriel Piper.

Have you seen other variations of this claim? Let us know.

Bond Huberman is a former editor for Snopes.

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