In February an Iranian director released a theatrical animated film depicting the sinking of U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf.
(DUBAI, UAE) A full-length animated film depicting an armed confrontation between Iran's Revolutionary Guards and the U.S. Navy is soon to open in Iranian cinemas, amid rising tensions over President Donald Trump's hardening rhetoric against Tehran.
The director of the "Battle of Persian Gulf II", Farhad Azima, said that it was a remarkable coincidence that the release of the film - four years in the making - coincided with a "warmongering" president sitting in the White House.
"I hope that the film shows Trump how American soldiers will face a humiliating defeat if they attack Iran," Azima told Reuters in a telephone interview from the city of Mashhad in eastern Iran.
The 88-minute animation opens with the U.S. Army attacking an Iranian nuclear reactor, and the U.S. Navy in the Gulf hitting strategic locations across the county.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a powerful branch of the Iranian military, retaliates with full force, raining ballistic missiles on the U.S. warships.
"They all sink and the film ends as the American ships have turned into an aquarium for fishes at the bottom of the sea," Azima said.
Azima told AP:
"This is a response to hundreds of (anti-Iranian) American movies and video games. We are saying that if you fire one bullet against Iran, a rain of hot lead will be poured on your forces."
The main Iranian commander in the film has been intentionally depicted as Qassem Soleimani, the IRGC commander and head of Iran's elite Quds Force, who is overseeing Iran's military operations in Syria and Iraq against Islamist militants.
In the film Soleimani’s character leads a single vessel against more than a dozen American warships. When a U.S. commander orders him to surrender or die, he replies: ""General, I am not a diplomat, I am a revolutionary!"
Azima said he sought to contact Soleimani to ensure he was not against his appearance in the film but did not receive a reply. However, senior figures close to Soleimani asked the director to keep the character but drop the name Qassem in the final edit.
"Hollywood has created many films against Iran; There are many computer games in which U.S. soldiers conquer our country. We made this film as an answer to that propaganda," the 35-year old director said.
The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, which is based in Bahrain and is responsible for naval operations in the Persian Gulf, declined to comment on the film when contacted by AP.
On Sunday, Iran successfully tested the country’s indigenous Valfajr torpedo system on the last day of two week-long naval drills, during which the Islamic Republic also featured other advanced military technology including cruise and anti-ship missiles.