Iranian photographer says Trump used photo without permission to push ‘agenda against Iran’

An Iranian photojournalist on Tuesday accused President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Memo: Biden seeks revival in South Carolina Congress eyes billion to billion to combat coronavirus Sanders makes the case against Biden ahead of SC primary MORE of using a photo she had taken to push his “agenda” against Iran, saying that she felt “cheated and abused.”

Yalda Moayeri, 37, told The New York Times that was angered when she saw the president use her photo on the 40th anniversary of the Iranian revolution.


“I felt cheated and abused, it causes me great sorrow to see the man who is inflicting so much pain upon me and my compatriots to use my image for his own agenda,” she said. “I did not take this risk to have someone using it to pressure us Iranians even further.”

The president used the image on Monday while taking aim at Iran’s leadership, writing tweets in both English and Persian. 

“40 years of corruption. 40 years of repression. 40 years of terror. The regime in Iran has produced only #40YearsofFailure. The long-suffering Iranian people deserve a much brighter future,” the president’s tweet read.


Trump and national security adviser John Bolton have taken a hard-line approach to Iran, including pulling out of the Obama-era nuclear deal with the country last year. 

Moayeri slammed the Trump administration over its economic sanctions against the country, which she said are “devastating our lives.”

“Our money became worthless. People are becoming poor. Because of his travel ban, many Iranians cannot visit their family members in the United States. My father lives there and I can’t go either,” she said. “I just don’t want to be any part of his agenda against Iran.”

Moayeri said there were not many legal avenues she could take to secure proper credit for the photograph.

“It’s not as if I can sue the president of the United States as an Iranian, so I guess this is all I can do,” she said of her statement against Trump on Instagram.

The Hill has reached out to the Trump White House for comment.

The image features a young woman covering her mouth with one hand against a cloud of fumes and triumphantly raising her other fist.

Moayeri told The Times that the photograph was from protests at Tehran University on Dec. 30, 2017.


Twenty-five people were killed during the demonstration and thousands more were arrested.

Moayeri originally did not use her name out of fear of retaliation from authorities so she sold the image to the Iran-based photographers for The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse.

The photographer said she still owns the rights to the image and did not sign any contract.

She came forward and took credit for the snapshot six months later and was awarded first place at the annual Iranian Photojournalists Association. Se has not faced any trouble for coming forward. 

“Taking pictures that tell the truth is the job of all photojournalists,” she said.