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Fact check: photo does NOT show ‘Iranian capital Tehran has increased security level’ – it shows a temporary US pier for humanitarian aid in Gaza

Fact check: photo does NOT show 'Iranian capital Tehran has increased security level' – it shows a temporary US pier for humanitarian aid in Gaza

American pier, Gaza

Does a photo show a port in the ‘Iranian capital Tehran’ that has ‘increased the level of security’, as one post on No, that’s not true: Tehran, the capital of Iran, is landlocked. The image in question showed the Trident Pier, a temporary pier in Gaza established by the US Central Command to deliver human aid to Palestinian civilians. A screenshot in the post on

The claim has its origins in a after on X on May 19, 2024 (archived here) with a caption that reads:

The Iranian capital Tehran has increased the security level.

Below is how the message appeared at the time of this publication:

Screenshot 2024-05-20 at 10.07.13.png

(Source: X screenshot taken on Monday May 20 10:07:13 UTC 2024)

As a community note related to the above post points out, Tehran is the landlocked capital of Iran. According to Google Maps (archived here), it is convenient (archived here) by road, about 140 kilometers south of Chalus, the nearest Iranian city on the Caspian Sea.

Screenshot 2024-05-20 at 11.45.11 AM.png

(Source: Google Maps screenshot taken Monday May 20 17:45:11 UTC 2024)

Lead Stories has marked both Tehran and Gaza on the map below on Google Earth:

Screenshot 2024-05-20 at 12.12.12 PM.png

(Source: Google Earth screenshot taken Monday May 20 18:12:12: UTC 2024)

The images in question showed the Trident Pier, a temporary pier in Gaza established by the Central Command (CENTCOM) to provide humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians. As the community note also indicates, the photos were previously shared with

A C-RAM (Counter Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar) system is used on the floating pier off the beach in Gaza. Image from the video in the first photo with the C-RAM on the beach and then a photo of a C-RAM mounted in a truck. These systems are in use in the United States and Israel.

As noted in the aforementioned OSINT Aggregator post, the screenshot is from a video Posted on May 18, 2023 (archived here), via the verified account of Joe Truzman (archived here), a senior research analyst for the nonprofit Foundation for Defense Democracies‘ (archived here) publication, Magazine for the Long War (archived here).

The video posted by Truzman also identified the photo location as being captured in Gaza:

Screenshot 2024-05-20 at 12.13.54 PM.png

(Source: X screenshot taken on Monday May 20 18:13:54 UTC 2024)

US President Joe Biden announced his military directive to build the pier during his State of the Union address (archived here) on March 7, 2024. He said, in part:

… order the US military to lead an emergency mission to establish a temporary pier in the Mediterranean Sea on the Gaza coast that can receive large ships carrying food, water, medicine and temporary shelter.

There will be no American boots on the ground.

This temporary pier would allow for a massive increase in the amount of humanitarian aid entering Gaza every day.

In mid-March, the specialized army unit charged with constructing the pier set sail for Gaza, the US Department of Defense (DoD) wrote on March 12, 2024: press release (archived here). Construction of the floating pier by U.S. military personnel began the following month, DoD reported on April 25, 2024. press release (archived here). The ministry described the location as “a temporary pier off the coast of Gaza to provide crucial humanitarian aid.”

After high seas (archived here) and weather delays (archived here) in early May, CENTCOM announced in a May 16, 2024 press release (archived here) that the floating pier was anchored to the beach in Gaza.

“No U.S. troops entered Gaza as part of this effort. Trucks carrying humanitarian aid are expected to start rolling ashore in the coming days. The United Nations will receive the aid and coordinate its distribution to Gaza,” the press release concluded.

Lead Stories emailed CENTCOM and DoD for comment. We will update this post accordingly.

Other Lead Stories Fact Checks regarding Gaza can be found here.