Tehran hosts ‘I Can’t Breathe’ exhibition featuring criticism of US, Israel
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Tehran hosts ‘I Can’t Breathe’ exhibition featuring criticism of US, Israel

Art display in Iran, which routinely uses deadly force to put down protesters, capitalizes on Floyd unrest to link Trump, US police to Nazis and KKK

A Star of David crushing the neck of a dove saying "I can't breathe" as part of an art exhibit in Tehran, Iran about the George Floyd protests in the US, June 14, 2020. (Screenshot: Twitter)
A Star of David crushing the neck of a dove saying "I can't breathe" as part of an art exhibit in Tehran, Iran about the George Floyd protests in the US, June 14, 2020. (Screenshot: Twitter)

The United States, its police and its president, Donald Trump, are all depicted as Nazis and Ku Klux Klan affiliates in a new art exhibition.

One minor detail: The display is in Iran, a country that routinely threatens to annihilate Israel and whose regime has used deadly force to crush many mass protests in recent years, and blocked the internet to prevent footage being published.

The Tehran cartoon exhibition, titled “I Can’t Breathe,” also features criticism of the Jewish state, with a Star of David seen crushing the neck of a dove seemingly symbolizing peace with the Palestinians.

Iran has made a point of criticizing Washington daily in the wake of the ongoing turmoil in America and the protests over police killings of African Americans.

State television in Iran, which in November put down nationwide demonstrations by killing hundreds and arresting thousands, has repeatedly aired images of the US unrest.

On Sunday, the Press TV station aired footage from the exhibition, which was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

Masoud Shojaei Tabtabaei, the director of the Center for Visual Arts in Hozeh Honari, said the exhibition included 72 art pieces by 45 artists from 27 different countries.

According to MEMRI, the exhibition featured images of a swastika crushing George Floyd’s neck, the Statue of Liberty taking a knee, the flag of the United States drawn with imagery associated with the Ku Klux Klan, a guillotine labeled “Only Colored” with the American flag as the blade, and comparisons between Trump and Adolf Hitler.

Last week, Iranian media reported that lawmakers in parliament chanted “Death to America” during a session, allegedly in a show of support for the US protesters.

The report said the chants followed a request by lawmaker Ahmad Naderi for a moment of silence over deaths of protesters.

A week before that, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the killing of Floyd by a police officer showed the “true face” of the United States and its oppression of the peoples of the world, including its own.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the killing “brutal” and expressed support for protesters in the US.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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