Egypt hits back at Iran with anti-Khomeini movie

Shows Iranian leader as “imam of blood,” writer says


In response to the Iranian documentary that glorifies the assassin of Egypt’s former president Anwar Sadat, Egypt will make a movie that portrays Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini as an “imam of blood,” has learned.

Mohamed Hassan Al-Alfi, a member of the ruling National Democratic Party and Editor-in-Chief of its mouthpiece Al-Watani Al-Youm, told Al Arabiya that he is in the process of writing the script for ‘Khomeini: The Imam of Blood,’ which will be directed by prominent Egyptian director Mohamed Fadel.

The movie, Alfi said, will spotlight Khomeini's extremist ideas and how they threatened Egypt's security during the first 10 years of current President Hosni Mubarak's rule. It will also show how Khomeini's ideologies were behind the assassination of Sadat.

Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was the political leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution which overthrew the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Following the revolution, Khomeini became the country's Supreme Leader, the paramount political figure of the new Islamic Republic until his death.

"The movie will show that Khomeini was not an imam of the Muslim faith that promotes peace and condemns violence, but was rather an imam of blood," Alfi said.

Iranian documentary

A week ago, Egypt summoned a senior Iranian diplomat in Cairo over the Iranian documentary, "Assassination of a Pharaoh," which portrays Sadat’s assassination as the killing of a traitor by a martyr.

According to the Iranian film, Sadat was killed for signing the 1978 Camp David Accords that led to a 1979 peace treaty with Israel, the first by an Arab country.

The film was broadcast on Iranian television "in honor of the martyrs of the Islamic renaissance," and deals with "the revolutionary assassination of the treacherous Egyptian president at the hands of the martyr Khaled Islambouli."

Islamic militant Islambouli was one of the soldiers who shot Sadat dead at a military parade in Cairo on October 6, 1981. He was hanged for the killing in 1982 and subsequently had a Tehran road named after him.

Strained relations

Diplomatic ties between Egypt and Iran were severed in 1980, a year after Iran’s Islamic revolution, in protest at Egypt's recognition of Israel, its hosting of the deposed shah and its support for Iraq during its 1980-1988 war with Iran.

Iran said in January it was close to restoring full diplomatic relations with Egypt, but Egyptian officials have been more cautious.

Cairo has said the Tehran street named after Sadat's assassin should be changed and murals in the Iranian capital of the killer removed while some security issues also need to be resolved.

Alfi said the new Egyptian movie will highlight Sadat’s popularity, especially after the October 6, 1973 victory, and show how even those who disagreed with him respected him.

"He emerged victorious in both war and peace. This victory never destabilized the security of neighboring countries or exported terrorist ideologies like the Iranian Revolution did."

(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid).