EghtesadOnline: Movie theaters in Tehran started showing a feature-length animation depicting a battle between Iranian and U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf amid rising tensions between the two longtime foes.
The “Battle of the Persian Gulf II” imagines Iran’s response to a U.S. attack, director Farhad Azima said by phone on Monday. The 88-minute animation, which was first screened two weeks ago in the holy city of Mashhad, shows the wide range of “Iran’s weaponry and military tactics” to “act as a deterrent,” he said. The animation took more than four years to make and cost 10 billion rials ($308,000), according to Azima.
Production began before the 2015 accord that lifted a host of economic sanctions on Iran in return for curbing its nuclear activities. Its release, however, comes at a time of worsening relations between the two countries after the election of Donald Trump, who in February said he was putting the Islamic Republic “on notice” after it carried out a missile test days earlier, Bloomberg reported.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on state matters, said last week that Iran needs to display its might in order to deter aggression. “Weakness will encourage the enemy to attack,” he said in a March 6 speech. “This is a general rule. If you want to prevent the enemy from attacking, you should try not to show any weakness.”
Azima, 36, said one of the leading figures portrayed in the animation is inspired by the commander of the Quds force, General Qassem Soleimani, given his “charisma, power and popularity” in Iran. It is an elite unit of the Revolutionary Guards that operates overseas and supports regional militant movements like Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
“This is Iran, a place that for the likes of you means the end of the world,” the commander is shown telling enemy forces in a trailer released online. If you attack Iran “we will turn this into your cemetery,” he says.