Iranian film celebrates defeat of US Navy in imaginary Gulf battle

Wishful thinking? An Iranian animated film hails a crushing victory over the US Navy.

In a climactic battle at sea, an Iranian commander orders his forces to open fire on a much larger US fleet, obliterating it with a barrage of rockets, some of which tear American flags from their masts.

The scenario unfolds in “Battle of the Persian Gulf II,” a new Iranian animated film more than four years in the making that imagines a devastating response to an American attack on the country’s nuclear program.

It might have seemed out of date this time last year, when a nuclear accord reached with world powers lifted sanctions and raised hopes for a broader rapprochement between Iran and the West. But tensions have never really subsided.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized the nuclear deal, and his administration put Iran “on notice” last month after it tested a ballistic missile, in violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution.

Director Farhad Azima says the timing of the film’s release is purely coincidental. The movie has begun showing in the city of Mashhad, where it was produced, and will open in other cities in the coming weeks.

The nearly 90-minute film, a sequel to a production about the 1980s Iran-Iraq war, begins with a US attack on an Iranian nuclear reactor.

Real-Life Showdown

Washington has long warned it would take military action to prevent Iran from developing an atomic weapon.

That sets up a showdown in the Persian Gulf, where the real-life US Navy has accused Iranian forces of harassing its vessels in recent months.

In the film, a character who closely resembles Gen. Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, leads a single vessel against more than a dozen American warships. When a US commander orders him to surrender or die, he replies, “General, I am not a diplomat, I am a revolutionary!”

He warns that any American soldiers taking part in an attack on Iran “should order their coffins” before his forces destroy the whole US fleet.

Azima says his film cost $250,000 to make, and that producers raised the funds from everyday citizens, claiming there was no government involvement in the project.

“This is a response to hundreds of (anti-Iranian) American movies and video games,” he said. “We are saying that if you fire one bullet against Iran, a rain of hot lead will be poured on your forces.”

By: AP