Why Cannes screening of Persepolis, angers Iran

Nima Sharif
Is it not just a movie? Well, not if you were a Mullah. 

As reported by various news agencies, the Iranian Mullahs’ have once again exposed to the world their limited tolerance for views that might be slightly different than theirs. 

Apparently, Iran has sent the French Embassy in Tehran a letter of protest regarding the screening of an Iranian film maker’s movie, Persepolise, at the Cannes Film Festival in France. 

The movie is about a child growing up in Iran after the Islamic Revolution.

The letter sent by the state-run Farabi Foundation in Iran reads, "This year the Cannes Film Festival, in an unconventional and unsuitable act, has chosen a movie about Iran that has presented an unrealistic face of the achievements and results of the glorious Islamic Revolution in some of its parts."

In other words, the Mullahs are trying to say, “Hey, we did not have a chance to cutup pieces that we didn’t like you to see, before you got to see it.”

Poor Mullahs are trying very hard to extend the reach of their censorship and the backward perception of Islam they represent and their totalitarian rule all the way up into Europe.

The film as it seems, is competing for the top prize and will be officially screened Wednesday.

Neither the French Embassy officials in Tehran nor the Cannes organizers have commented on the issue.

What is noteworthy is that the letter is sent to the French Embassy in Iran rather than being directed to the organizers of the film festival.  The reason could well be that Tehran is actually testing the newly elected administration in France.  The old administration, due to its policy of appeasement towards the Mullahs, was easily manipulated by their threats.  For the new administrations, it remains to be seen. 

Nima Sharif is a political writer and publisher of http://www.stopfundamentalism.com