Iran’s head of state has criticized Clint Eastwood’s Iraq War biopic American Sniper, telling a state-run newspaper the film “encourages” violence against Muslims, the paper reported Tuesday.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s Supreme Leader, told the IRAN Farsi newspaper of his opinions on Eastwood’s film, which he admitted he has not seen but was informed of the plot by others.
“The movie ‘Sniper’ that is made by Hollywood encourages a Christian or non-Muslim youngster to harass and offend the Muslims as far as they could,” Ali Khamenei told the outlet, according to CBS News.
“You are seeing what sort of propaganda there are against Muslims in Europe and the U.S.,” Khamenei said, reportedly also citing Germany’s anti-Islam PEGIDA movement, which has campaigned against the spread of multiculturalism across Europe.
IRAN Farsi reported Ayatollah Khamenei made the comments during a meeting with representatives of religious minorities in the country’s parliament three weeks ago.
While American films are reportedly popular in Iran, American Sniper has not been released in the country, where Khamenei has final say in all state matters, including those relative to entertainment.
Ali Khamenei has retained absolute in power in Iran since 1989, following the death of his predecessor Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who stepped into power after helping to overthrow the Shaw during the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
American Sniper, which stars Bradley Cooper as former Navy SEAL Sniper Chris Kyle, has shattered box-office records since its release and grossed more than $300 million.