An award offering cash prizes for the best works of art that stir up hatred for the United States has been launched in Iran.
The competition, named Marg bar Amrika, which translates to ‘Down with America’ or ‘Death to America’, has a grand prize of 100million Iranian rial, which equates to £2,500.
Held in two parts, the contest invites entries on anti-American subjects including ‘Why is the US not reliable’, ‘The US and oppression’ and ‘The US and global Zionism’.
The first part, eligible for the £2,500 prize, is for photographs, posters and cartoons, while the second part, with a smaller grand prize of £750, is for documentaries, hymns and blog posts.
Hardline conservative illustrators and artists from Iran will judge submissions, including cartoonists Maziyar Bizhani and Mohammad Hosein Niroomand, both of whom have been published in the Keyhan newspaper.
The awards are sponsored by conservative news agencies and television stations. A website promoting the awards features the iconic ‘Uncle Sam’ image with a medieval mace drawn into his hand.
The topics encourage entrants to focus on the United States as a centre of imperialism, hypocrisy and prejudice against Islam, and Iran in particular.
‘Marg bar Amrika’, the slogan attached to the awards, has been used by Iranian hardliners for decades as a focal point for their opposition to the West.
Iran and and US have had a strained relationship for decades, which had looked to improve since the election of moderate politician Hassan Rouhani as president in June this year.
The announcement of the award comes as conservatives in Iran feel ignored by the government, which has recently re-opened talks in the West over the country’s nuclear programme.
The country’s revolutionary guard, a military organisation which protects the country’s Islamic values, is also organising a series of ‘down with America’ rallies on 4 November.
The rallies commemorate an attack on the US Embassy in Iran’s capital city Tehran in 1979, when hardline students overran the building.
Read more: The Daily Mail