Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei called on artists, journalists and authors to give the world a transparent and discrediting image of the hegemony and the Western support for former Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein in eight years of war against Iran.
On Wednesday evening, a group of Iranian veterans and artists of the Sacred Defense era met with Ayatollah Khamenei for the ceremony of “An Evening of Retelling Memories”, commemorating the National Week of Sacred Defense.
In the gathering, Ayatollah Khamenei elaborated on different aspects of the Sacred Defense era -when Iran was invaded by the US- backed Ba’ath regime of Saddam- and said, “One aspect of the Sacred Defense era is that it provides an image of power equations in the wild and oppressive world which is void of spiritually.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution also reminded the audience of the unparalleled war, saying, “One side of the battle, (there was Iran that) could not even buy barbed wires and import them, while the other side was provided with the most advanced war equipment in large quantities and was even allowed to use chemical weapons.”
Ayatollah Khamenei slammed Western states’ double standards in confronting weapons of mass destruction, stating, “Today the Westerners make such a fuss over even accusations of using chemical weapons, while in those days, Saddam was even allowed to use chemical weapons not only in the war fronts but also in cities (and on civilians); and the governments of France, Germany and then USSR helped him.”
“During the Sacred Defense era, not only economic and political sanctions were imposed on us, we were also sanctioned in terms of media access and no one would hear our voice,” the Leader added.
Ayatollah Khamenei posed a question to the audience at the ceremony as well as the people of the world, asking, “ Now, my question is, why shouldn’t the people of Germany and France know what their governments did to us during those 8 years of imposed war?”
“They currently do not know, and this is due to our negligence. Currently, the world cannot see this image which exposes the arrogant powers,” Khamenei.ir website quoted the Leader as saying.
The Leader then advised the experts in arts to reach out to the world to narrate the truth, saying, “In the fields of literature, cinema, theatre, journalism and cyberspace there are plenty of tasks that we must do, but have not done. Wherever we worked in those areas, even if in limited quantities, it was influential.”
He also pointed to a successful example of cinematic work and said, “For instance, the movie by Mr. Hatamikia (Damascus Time), wherever it was displayed, it was welcomed. Why shouldn’t it be broadcast in Europe and Asia?”
As regards film festivals in the West showing Iranian movies, the Leader said, “Iranian movies screened in western festivals are of rather lower quality; they would not show a movie about the Sacred Defense era; because they fear the screening of a moving that exposes (their crimes).”
“My dear ones! Do know that today too, if the message of the martyrs reaches our hearts, it will protect us against fear and sorrow and it will present us with the message of felicity, courage and action,” Ayatollah Khamenei concluded.
Iraq, under former dictator Saddam Hussein, invaded Iran on September 22, 1980, imposing an eight-year war on its eastern neighbor.