Jewish Journal

New Iranian Holocaust TV series is another P.R. stunt

by Karmel Melamed

September 14, 2007 | 4:22 pm

Following a Wall Street Journal article about “Zero Degree Turn”, a new television dramatic series produced by Iran’s state-run broadcasting channel, international news media outlets and blogs have been buzzing at the emergence of a new Holocaust related message being put out by Iran’s regime. Zero Degree Turn is a dramatic love story set in Nazi-controlled France during World War II between an Iranian-Palestinian Muslim man and a French Jewish woman. Ultimately the man saves his love from Nazi camps with the help of Iranian diplomats in France who provide forged passports for her family to escape the country to safety. The program repeatedly refers to the Nazi concentration camps and the threats Jews faced in Nazi controlled Europe.

Zero Degree Turn to many might seem like a significant change in message put out by the Iranian government after the country’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called the Holocaust a myth since coming to office. But the show’s costly 1940s costumes and European locations reveal a very obvious attempt by the Iranian government to do damage control in the international community after Ahmadinejad’s ridiculous statements about the Holocaust. Ahmadinejad’s recent Holocaust deniers conference generated a significant amount of bad press for the regime and cast them in a bad light worldwide. Zero Degree Turn is yet another elaborate attempt by the Iranian government’s ruling mullahs to overnight repair the months of bad press their President has brought upon them and send a new message that their regime “may not be as bad you may think”. Interestingly, Zero Degree Turn seems to be only a piece of the larger P.R. campaign and spinning effort made by the Iranian government. Earlier this month, Iranian officials announced that they were creating a new cultural center in Tehran for the Jews of their country.

Unfortunately for the Iranian regime, I expect that they will be spending more time and money on P.R. considering the fact that Ahmadinejad will no doubt continue to put his foot in his mouth and spout more hate. They can try to spin these stories as much as they wish but the world is not stupid and knows where the regime stands based on its leaders long standing anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric.

The following is a small segment of the show posted online with English subtitles:

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Karmel Melamed is an internationally-published freelance journalist based in Southern California.

Since 2000, Melamed has specialized in covering the growing influential...

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