Following are excerpts from an interview with Iranian filmmaker Samira Makhmalbaf, which aired on Al-Arabiya TV on June 17, 2009. The English translation is based on the Arabic voice-over.
Samira Makhmalbaf: Let me tell you what happened in Iran. On the night when the votes were counted, Mr. Mousavi was contacted and told that he had won the elections. He was preparing to issue his victory statement. But then the military commanders came to his office, and said that they do not accept this green, democratic revolution. They carried out a coup, placed the elected president under siege, cut off his communications with the outside world, and shut down his website. Then the official TV channel of the Islamic Republic of Iran announced that Ahmadinejad was the real president. They banned the gathering of more than four people, [and stated] that if more than four people gathered in the street, they would be arrested.
Our people cannot make their voice heard, because communications with all other countries have been cut off, and journalistic activity has been suspended. They do not let journalists carry out their work freely. They arrested all... The people wanted to tell the whole world that Ahmadinejad is not their legitimate president. They wanted to make the world know who their legitimate and democratically-elected president is. This is what happened.
The only thing that the Iranians have now is their souls, and they are sacrificing their souls in defense of Iran. Our people does not seek the nuclear bomb. The Iranian people seeks peace, democracy, and friendship. Ahmadinejad does not care about the Iranian people. He has soiled the streets of Iran with the blood of our people. So how can such a person possibly care about other peoples? I call upon the Lebanese people: Do not be deceived by Ahmadinejad. He does not care about your people. He wants war in Lebanon. He wants war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Lack of security works in his favor. He want to turn you into victims of his interests, and he commits inhuman acts, leading the region to war.