An Iranian mayor on Friday apologized for a billboard which mistakenly featured Israeli soldiers although it was meant to mark the Iran-Iraq war, AFP reports.

"The billboard was installed in Shiraz showing three male soldiers standing on a rocky outcrop" next to a quote from an epic Persian poem, wrote the Iranian Tasnim news agency.

However, the shot was actually a photoshopped picture of Israel Defense Forces, according to Tasnim, with a female soldier from the original picture having been cropped out.

The banner was pulled down from the southwestern city Wednesday night and the mayor issued an apology the next day.

"This mistake of putting up such a despicable banner during the sacred defense week is unforgivable," Shiraz mayor Heydar Eskandarpour was quoted as having said.

Iran commonly refers to the brutal eight-year war with Iraq as "the sacred defense". In recent days, the country has been marking the start of the conflict which began on September 22, 1980. Two million people died.

"In addition to apologizing to Shiraz's pious and noble people, I ask the authorities to investigate the roots of this suspicious act and promptly report to the people," the mayor added.

Two public relation officials at the municipality have been fired over the incident.

Iran, of course, does not have official relations with Israel and its officials regularly call for the destruction of the Jewish State.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)