Iran-Backed Militias Release Posters With 'Squid Game' Imagery To Depict U.S., UAE, UN, And Saudi Crown Prince As Oppressive Elite

October 26, 2021

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On October 21, 2021, Sabereen News, a Telegram channel affiliated with Iran-backed militias in Iraq released a poster inspired by the South Korean drama "Squid Game," which became a hit on Netflix worldwide. On the show, a secret international elite coerces downtrodden people to play schoolyard games in which the losers are shot on the spot. The winner of the games is promised a huge sum of money. The show's universal themes of inequality, greed, and oppression struck a chord with many audiences.

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The Iraqi Telegram channel reiterated claims circulated by Iran-backed Shi'ite militias that the U.S., UAE, and the United Nations tampered with the results of the recent Iraqi parliamentary elections, in which there was a significant drop in the number of seats won by parties representing these militias.

The poster released by the channel depicted the three geometric shapes that are central to the "Squid Game" show and are associated with the secret elite who orchestrate the deadly games. The text on the poster read: "Green Zone," referring to the area housing the UN and foreign embassies.

Interestingly, on October 8, 2021, the same Telegram channel published another poster using imagery from "Squid Game." The poster depicted Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud in a scene from the show, in which contestants were forced to play the game "red light, green light," and shot dead when disqualified. The poster depicted the Saudi Crown Prince as the leader of the game, surrounded by armed henchmen (in the show the game is led by a giant robot shaped like a little girl).[1] The poster also depicted the massacred contestants at Al Saud's feet, with the text: "Freedom First."

The channel wrote in the post: "There is one rule to the game: speak and you will be eliminated." 

The caption also included the name of "Laina Al-Hathol," a possible reference to Lina Al-Hathloul, the sister of Saudi women's rights activist Loujain Al-Hathloul[2], who has been outspoken critic of Saudi authorities.[3]


[1] Telegram Sabereen News, October 21, 2021

[2] In February 2021, Saudi Arabia released jailed activist Loujain Al-Hathloul, best known for leading a campaign to legalize driving for women in the country.

[3] Telegram, Sabereen News, October 8, 2021.






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