Iran uses German and US visas to make films against Israel and America

Films whitewash Iranian regime's crackdown of protests. Films bash the US and Israel.

Iranians burn U.S and Israeli flags as they gather to mourn General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, in Tehran, Iran January 4, 2020.  (photo credit: NAZANIN TABATABAEE/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)
Iranians burn U.S and Israeli flags as they gather to mourn General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, in Tehran, Iran January 4, 2020.
(photo credit: NAZANIN TABATABAEE/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)
Iran’s intelligence ministry obtained visas from the German and US governments to produce anti-Western films that whitewash Tehran’s repression of Iranian protestors and bash the US and Israel.
In a Friday article headlined “Iran's Intelligence Ministry Makes Movies in Europe, Trumpets Islamic Republic's Narrative," Radio Farda first reported that “some 15 crew members went to Berlin to make the movie with Type-D multiple-entry Schengen visas issued by the German Embassy in Tehran. Some German-based Iranian filmmakers also helped the crew. The filming went ahead for three weeks in total secrecy. “
According to the report,"two crew members were accused of wrongdoing after the crew's camera disappeared and the duo sought political asylum in Germany fearing punishment in Tehran if they went back to Iran.”
Radio Farda added that “the films made by the Intelligence Ministry portray intelligence officers as heroes and the Iranian opposition as sinister terrorists. They never refer to the intelligence officers’ violent treatment of Iranian protestors.
Another main theme in the films made by Iran’s intelligence is demonizing the United States. They often portray the US and Israel as supporters of terrorists. Oddly enough, a number of Iranian filmmakers living in the United States, often Green Card holders, are actively involved in making such movies.”
The Jerusalem Post has reported over the years that Germany is a hotbed of Iranian regime intelligence activity that is largely tolerated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration. The German Interior Ministry said that agents from Iran have been some of the most active spies in the Federal Republic between 2007 and 2017, including assassination attempts on Israel advocates.
German authorities conducted criminal investigations into Iran for 22 cases of espionage. Merkel’s government did not expel German diplomats for the surveillance and slated assassination attempts.
German foreign ministry sources told the Post in February that Merkel's government plans to participate in a celebration of Iran's Islamic revolution this month.
Radio Farda reported that “Intelligence organizations' activity in the area of filmmaking has increased under the Rouhani administration. However, other intelligence organizations such as the IRGC's [The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] Intelligence are also actively involved in filmmaking and compete with Rouhani’s Intelligence Ministry.”
The report said that “several movies screened at the Fajr Film Festival that marked the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran are found to have been funded by the Islamic Republic's notorious Intelligence Organizations, Radio Farda’s investigation has found. In one of the latest cases of Iranian intelligence organization's increasing activities in the area of film production, the Intelligence Ministry has produced the movie "Zero Day" in Germany.”'
According to Radio Farda, “Zero Day’s director and executive producer Saeed Malekan said the ideas for the film came from  a person named Esfahani. The film is, Malekan said, based on the story of how “Iranian intelligence officers arrested an insurgent named Abdulmalek Rigi, a Baluch insurgent leader, by forcing the foreign airliner that was carrying him to a destination in Central Asia to land in Iran.”
The journalist Babak Ghafoori Azar ,who broke the story for Radio Farda, wrote that “Three independent sources have told Radio Farda that the Intelligence Ministry provided information, documentations and funds to the film's producer. Meanwhile, Malekan confirmed that Esfahani, a former high-ranking intelligence officer, was with the film crew while the film was being shot, although he did not accompany the crew in the trip to Berlin.”
Esfahani’s real identity is Morteza Ghobbeh and is still works for Iran’s intelligence apparatus.  He produces TV series  and   movies.
“A search in the database of Iranian film industry revealed Esfahani was the screenwriter of over 30 mainly political movies during the past years," wrote Radio Farda.
Post press queries to Germany’s government were not immediately returned on the weekend.


Tags germany film