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The Film Iran’s Leaders Do Not Want You To See Iranium: The Clock Is Ticking

Yonoson Rosenblum

Even before its official opening, Iranium, the most recent documentary on radical Islam produced by the Clarion Fund, was subject to official protests from the Iranian consulate in Toronto and mysterious threats. That may be only the beginning for a film certain to generate ongoing controversy.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Iranium was already a cause célèbre by the time the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington DC think tank, hosted its American premiere last week, with Richard Perle, assistant secretary of defense under President Reagan, as the featured speaker.

A prelaunch screening scheduled to take place at the end of January at the Canadian National Archives in Toronto aroused fierce opposition from the Iranian consulate. After a number of anonymous threats were received, the National Archives canceled the screening, citing security concerns. The cancellation received enormous media coverage in Canada, with a number of government ministers taking to the airwaves to denounce the capitulation by the National Archives.

Iranium was eventually screened in Ottawa, Canada’s capital, early last week, but Iranium’s producer, Raphael Shore, made the most of the moment.

“They basically gave us our advertising slogan: the film Iran’s leaders do not want you to see,” said Shore.

When asked whether he himself isn’t concerned about his own personal security, Shore replied that he has asked sheilos of his rabbanim, and that the necessary precautions have been taken for all screenings.

“But one reason I’m not so concerned,” he adds, “is that Iran cannot afford, and certainly does not want, any high-profile negative publicity connecting it to terrorism at this point.”

Besides the controversy generated by the Toronto cancellation, the weeks of rioting in Egypt may boost Iranium out of the starting gate, due to parallels between events in Egypt and the 1979 ouster of the Shah of Iran. Like Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, the Shah was a brutal autocrat; and like Mubarak, he was also a staunch American ally and the principal modernizing force in his country.

 

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