Iran Again Pushing Videos Glorifying The Killing of Americans, U.S. Navy


An innocent seaside town is attacked by evil invaders who shoot down a civilian passenger plane, before heroic patriots use the power of the national flag to create a tsunami that destroys the foreign enemy.

This is the sensational plot of an Iranian patriotic music video which has set social media buzzing after repeat showings on state TV. Despite the strongly anti-American message, some Iranian conservatives feel it trivialises the real life events which partially inspired the production.

Video production: Alvaro A. Ricciardelli & Anne-Marie Tomchak

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Iran Air Flight 655 (3 July 1988)


  • 25 August 2016
US ships destroyed by tsunamiImage copyrightAPARAT.COM/SOUREHFILM
Image captionThe video uses special effects to show US ships destroyed by a patriotic Iranian tsunami

It has the production values of a Hollywood blockbuster and the heightened emotion of a Bollywood musical, but the message couldn’t be more anti-American.

An extraordinary eight-minute music video/revenge fantasy called “We are standing to last drop of blood” has been regularly shown on on Iran’s national TV this month and set social media buzzing.

Iranian men line up with flagsImage copyrightAPARAT.COM/SOUREHFILM

The film shows patriotic youths magically destroying an American invasion fleet which has targeted an idyllic Iranian seaside town and its peaceful nuclear power plant. When the civilians come under unprovoked attack the Iranian heroes unite to use the power of their national flag to create a tsunami that destroys the US ships and aircraft. It ends with the idyllic seaside town and peaceful nuclear power plant returned to tranquillity. Subtle it is not.

Idyllic beach scene after defeat of US invasion forceImage copyrightAPARAT.COM/SOUREHFILM

The video is partially inspired by the events of July 1988, when Iran Air Flight 655 was shot down by the American warship, the USS Vincennes, after apparently being mistaken for a jet fighter. All 290 people onboard the passenger plane were killed.

It is an event which has a particular emotional significance to many Iranians. And some, including conservative Iranian voices, have suggested that the overblown imagery in the new video trivialises the tragedy of the event.

The Javan newspaper, which is close to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, published an article lashing what it described as a flop. “Hollywood-style budget, Bollywood-style quality”, read the headline. “It seems that the producers of the clip watch too many Hindi movies,” the author concluded.

The video starts with a little girl on board the aircraft playing with her doll as the captain welcomes passengers onboard.

Girl with doll sitting in plane seatImage copyrightAPARAT.COM/SOUREHFILM

Simultaneously, the people on the beach seems to be going about their own business; children playing, a couple picnicking, a cafe owner bringing tea to customers.

Children playing on beach by nuclear power stationImage copyrightAPARAT.COM/SOUREHFILM

Then, as one of the children fetches the ball from the sea, a dark shadow looms over him.

Boy will ballImage copyrightAPARAT.COM/SOUREHFILM

He looks up to see a missile hitting the plane in the dreary sky. At the sight of American warships in the distance, he drops the ball and runs. There’s confusion.

Missile hitting planeImage copyrightAPARAT.COM/SOUREHFILM

It is then that the singer, an ordinary man among the crowd, steps up.

Singer with the flagImage copyrightAPARAT.COM/SOUREHFILM

“Oh you warship, your loud roar does not scare me”, the singer chides, as he shakes his finger at the invaders.

Fighter jets attack the shore as he stands still watching in astonishment. Then he runs back quickly, grabs the flying Iranian flag. Other men grab more flags and join in line. They all move forward towards the enemy.

Iranian men line up with flagsImage copyrightAPARAT.COM/SOUREHFILM

The warships target them and shoot.

WarshipImage copyrightAPARAT.COM/SOUREHFILM

“If you dare passing me by, I will break your legs”, the singer warbles. The men emerge from the dust of an explosion, crying out loud, running towards the ships. They plant their flags into the surf with such force that it creates a tsunami that swallows up the entire invading fleet, including the Vincennes, and several US aircraft.

US aircraft carrier flipped by tsunamiImage copyrightAPARAT.COM/SOUREHFILM

The ships flip over and a burning US flag floats on the sea.

burning American flagImage copyrightAPARAT.COM/SOUREHFILM

The clip, produced by Sureh Film Club, is affiliated to the state-owned Islamic Propagation Organisation, whose chairman is appointed by Iran’s supreme leader.

The Sobh-e No newspaper reported that the budget for the video was 1.2bn tomans, about $385,000. A figure disputed by the head of the film club, who said he would reveal the true cost at a later date. The newspaper report said a team of 150 people worked on the project. The production is said to have taken two years to complete.

Many Iranians on social media were critical. One Twitter user wrote: “Why spend public money to produce such low-quality products?”

Another mockingly noted: “In the video, the Iranians shout and the American warships capsize! Therefore it would be better if the military budget is spent on amplifiers and megaphones.”

However, some were generally supportive, even if the praise was qualified: “Although they are misusing nationalistic sentiment, the hoisting of the flag in front of the Americans is significant.”

Reporting by Noosha Soluch, BBC Monitoring

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