Today marks the 35th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. More than three decades on, the authoritarian Iranian regime has indoctrinated generations of its citizens with anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-Western propaganda through state-controlled media.
These themes continue to dominate Iran’s media, which also provides a platform for Iran’s leadership to glorify terrorist groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon to Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza.
Iran’s television, newspapers and film industries are all under the command of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Through these mediums the people of Iran have been receiving a steady dose of the regime’s ideology and hatred.
Television and Film
Television shows regularly feature anti-Semitic animated cartoons depicting Jews and Israelis as blood thirsty murderers of Palestinian children. These graphic animations, which are also aired on popular children’s shows, often incorporate anti-American imagery that implies an American hand aiding Israel’s crimes.
For example, a children’s cartoon aired in September 2012 titled, Yek Vajeb-e Azadi [An Obligation of Freedom], directly aimed to portray Israelis as child-killers by depicting an Israeli soldier killing innocent Palestinian children while they played.
In November 2012, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) aired Saturday Hunter, an Iranian-made anti-Semitic film about a rabbi teaching his grandson to kill Palestinians in accordance with Jewish law. This film and others like it are aired during the month of Ramadan.
State-run newspapers are a primary tool used by the Iranian regime to promote hostile anti-Israel and anti-U.S. sentiments, and to provide hardline conservatives a platform for anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.
Kayhan, a newspaper known to be the mouthpiece of the Supreme Leader, regularly publishes editorials promoting conspiracies alleging that the U.S. and Israel are plotting to take over Iran and articles denying the historical facts of the Holocaust.
Another semi-official publication which is close to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Fars News Agency, regularly publishes anti-Semitic cartoons likening Jews to unclean animals and insects.
The pulpit has become a political tool for the manipulation of the Iranian public by the ayatollahs. Traditionally held at Tehran University, firebrand clerics give Friday sermons condemning the U.S. and the West as untrustworthy puppets under the control of Zionists.
Friday sermons are also used by the regime to discuss its foreign policies. For example, shortly following the end of the brief Israel-Hamas war in November 2012, Supreme Leader Khamenei and Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami both use their Friday sermon to laud Hamas’s fight against Israel. Furthermore, several high-ranking officials publicly acknowledged that Iran had supplied Hamas and Islamic Jihad with the Fajr 5 missiles that were fired into central Israel.