Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Reuters

A spoof report in The Onion has been published as a genuine news story by Iranian news agency Fars.

The "news" stated that a recent poll found 77 per cent rural Americans would rather vote for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than for current US President Barack Obama.

Without crediting the satircial online magaizne, Fars quoted a fictitious resident of West Virginia as saying that Ahmadinejad, "... takes national defense seriously, and he'd never let some gay protesters tell him how to run his country like Obama does."

Perhaps most amusingly the report cited another made up Gallup poll claiming that 60 per cent of rural white Americans appreciate the fact that, unlike Obama, the Iranian President does not try to hides the fact he's a Muslim, a reference to the fact that many genuine polls show a high number of Americans still erroneously believe Obama to be a Muslim.

Since the error came to light the article on Fars has been removed from its website, although it is of course still available on The Onion.