April 13, 2005 Special Dispatch No. 891

MEMRI TV Monitor Project - Iranian TV Drama: American Soldiers in Iraq

April 13, 2005
Iran | Special Dispatch No. 891

Over the past few months, Iranian TV Channel 1 has been airing a series titled "Virtuous Zealot." The series was produced by the Iranian TV Department of Defense and Epics.

The thirteen part series was split into two seasons. Season 1 takes place during the Iran–Iraq war and told the story of a truck driver and his apprentice who became inspired by the Iranian Mujahideen fighting against Iraq. Season 2 takes place ten years later during the present day U.S. occupation of Iraq. The driver, his son, and the apprentice are now bringing medicine from Iran to Iraq and the story is based on their current experiences.

The following are excerpts from 2 episodes from the second season. To view translated segments of these episodes, see clip numbers 632 and 633 on

American Officer Interrogates and Arrests Innocent Iranians

During this episode, the three Iranians are delivering medicine to Iraq, they are arrested by American forces, and interrogated. The following are excerpts from the show:

Taqi: The brakes aren't working.

'Ezzat: What do you say, boss?

Taqi:It won't stop.

Javad: Father, be careful.

Taqi: Truck, I beg you to stop.

'Ezzat: Come on, Boss, stop.

Taqi: I want to stop, but it won't.

'Ezzat: Oh my God. Boss, they are chasing us.

Taqi: Truck, I beg you to stop. Truck!

American Soldier: Stop!

American Officer: Right, I'm coming.

American soldier: What do I should with them, sir?

American Officer: A good Iraqi is a dead one, got it?

American Soldier: Yes, sir.

American Officer: Ask them what they're doing here.

Interpreter: This gentleman is asking what you are doing here.

Taqi: I don't want to argue with them. 'Ezzat, you talk to them.

'Ezzat: Alright, Boss. By God, we've brought medicine to help the Iraqis.

Interpreter: God knows we have brought medicine here just to help Iraqis.

American Officer: You think I'm crazy?

Interpreter: He says: "Do you think I'm crazy?!"

Taqi: Tell him: If you weren't crazy, you wouldn't have left your country and have come to a foreign country as an occupier.

Javad: No, brother, don't tell him. He will go berserk. Tell him that he said: "God forbid."

American Officer: What did he say?

Interpreter: He says: "What did he say?"

'Ezzat: Come on, don't tell him.

Interpreter: Don't worry.

'Ezzat: I love you.

American Officer: What did he say?

Interpreter: Nothing.

American Officer: You're the boss, right?

Interpreter: He says: "Are you their boss?"

Taqi: What is a boss?! This is my son Javad, and this is my apprentice, 'Ezzat. All we did was to bring medicine into Iraq.

Interpreter: This one is his son Javad, his friend. "We have just brought medicine here, this is all."

American Officer: Don't lie to me.

Interpreter: He says: "You are lying to me."

Taqi: I swear by all the prophets and the men of honor - We only brought medicine. Then we wanted to go on a pilgrimage to Karbala and Najaf. Is this a problem?

Interpreter: He says: "We have come to Iraq for pilgrimage."

American Officer: OK. You know bin Laden?

Interpreter: He says: "Do you know bin Laden?"

Taqi: Yes, he's my cousin. Come on, this guy is out of his mind.

'Ezzat: Boss, for the life of Javad, calm down. They'll turn us into smoke like this cigar.

Taqi: They wouldn't dare. I'm saying for the last time, my name is Taqi the pious. If you think we collaborated with the Taliban and bin Laden, whom you yourself nurtured, then you are badly mistaken. I'm telling you for the last time, if you don't let us go, I'll make you cry for your god.

'Ezzat: Please, translate only the first part, then tell him: We are you servants. I swear in the name of Jesus Christ - of course, they don't understand anything about prophets. I swear on the grave of Bush's father that we are not who you think.

Interpreter: He says: "Sir, we are not what you think.

American Officer: Keep them in jail for now. I'll talk to them later.

'Ezzat: Great. It's settled. We can go now, right?

Interpreter: No, he says that you must stay in prison for the time being. But Mr. Taqi, stay calm. I'm grateful to you for helping my country. After all, you know that the Americans, these Yankees, don't have any sense.

Taqi: With such people, who have no sense, one must speak the way I did.

The Iranians Are Framed by the Americans and the Arrest is Reported on CNN

In another episode, the three Iranians arrested by the American forces are framed and their arrest is broadcast by CNN. The following are excerpts:

Richard Quest: Iranians have been strongly against establishing democracy in Iraq, they resort [to] anything to shove the country into instability. Recent reports from Iraq reveal that three Iranian nationals named as Taqi, Javad, and 'Ezzat, who were linked to Al-Qa'ida terrorist group, produced clashes and unrest in Iraq based on a premeditated plan. The three, headed by Taqi, a "top-shot" in Al-Qa'ida, crossed into Iraq illegally and had in mind to blow up an important U.S. base in the country. The group was after upsetting order in various regions in Najaf and Karbala. Preliminary investigation from Taqi showed he was inspired by vengeance toward U.S. forces. He said resistance against U.S. forces will continue.

Taqi's wife: What is he saying?

Taqi's Daughter: Wait a minute, Mother.

Richard Quest:...of American troops from Iraq...

Taqi's Wife: You're killing me. Tell me what he's saying.

Taqi's Daughter: I didn't understand everything. But from what I understood, he says the Americans have arrested Father and the boys as Al-Qa'ida forces.

Taqi's Wife: Good God, what is Al-Qa'ida?

Taqi's Daughter: How should I put it... that Father and the boys are terrorists.

Taqi's Wife: Terrorists?! How dare he say your father and the boys are terrorists? He's a terrorist, and his father, and grandfather too. I'll report him to the police. I'll tear him to pieces. What is this? Can they do whatever they feel like?

Taqi's Daughter: Mother, what does this have to do with the police?

Taqi's Wife: I'll go and complain to anybody in charge.

Taqi's Daughter: Mother, calm down, let me hear what he's saying.

David Channer: Hello, I'm David Channer, reporting from CNN in the U.S. headquarters in Iraq. Today three members of Al-Qa'ida carried a truck of weapons into Iraq illegally.

Taqi's Daughter: Were Father and the boys supposed to take weapons to Iraq?

Taqi's Wife: No, they were only carrying medicine.

Taqi's Daughter: This guy says that Father and the boys took weapons into Iraq, and that they are therefore members of Al-Qa'ida.

American Officer: Our forces arrested three members of Al-Qa'ida after they attacked one of the U.S. headquarters in Iraq.

David Channer: Thank you, sir. The incident will be fully covered in the upcoming news. This is David Channer, CNN, Iraq.

Taqi's Wife: So your father lied to us? I sensed there was something fishy about this trip.

Taqi's Daughter: I don't think Father lied.

Taqi's Wife: So where have all those weapons come from?

Taqi's Daughter: Mother, they probably framed them. This is what the Americans always do.

Taqi's Wife: So will they take them to jail?

Taqi's Daughter: I don't know, Mother, we should ask them.

Next Scene

American Officer: What about the three guys? Is their questioning over?

Interpreter: Not yet, sir.

American Officer: If they got nothing to say, send them to Abu Ghureib prison. There they have to talk for sure.

Interpreter: It's not safe around Abu Ghureib now.

American Officer: What do you mean?

Interpreter: The rebels have... surrounded the prison.

American Officer: Alright… Use backup forces.

Interpreter: Give me two days. I will get the information you want.

American Officer: Uh-uh, two days is too much. Send them to Abu Ghureib if they don't confess till tomorrow.

Interpreter: Do you want to lose the honor [of] arresting them by sending them to Abu Ghureib?

American Officer: You're right! So try to get more information out of them.

Interpreter: Yes, sir, don't worry.

American Officer: You got a good future.

Interpreter: Thank you, sir.

American Officer: Tea or coffee, my friend?

Interpreter: Tea, please.

American Soldier: Yes, sir.

Next Scene

American Officer: Can I have a look at the list of POWs?

Red Cross Official: Sure, here you are.

American Officer: You, the Red Cross forces, take everything too seriously.

Red Cross Official: We are just doing our job.

American Officer: OK. So you shouldn't get upset if I do my own job too.

Red Cross Official: I don't know what you mean.

American Officer: Hold on a minute. This is the real list.

Red Cross Official: Your hostility with Iranians seems endless, doesn't it?

American Officer: Sort of. We gave Saddam the honor of destroying Iranians, but that jerk couldn't make it.

Red Cross Official: He not only failed, but he's also your prisoner now.

American Officer: A bad politician is a dead one, isn't he?

Red Cross Official: You mean Saddam?

American Officer: Saddam and his cronies [had] better die. Perhaps this is true of Saddam, but you think you can destroy Iranians by crossing their names out?

American Officer: When a name is crossed out, it means there's no name. You know what I mean?

Red Cross Official: Definitely. I do know what you mean.

American Officer: Great. Would you like more coffee?

Red Cross Official: With sugar, please.

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