Created in accordance with the Supreme Leader’s wish of an attractive and memorable theme, the song ‘Salam Farmandeh’ (سلام فرمانده - ‘Hello Commander’) was quickly spread through the Islamic Republic’s media channels, public events, and performances in schools. While targeting explicitly the country’s youth, translated versions of the song are meant to transcend and increase the popularity of the Islamic Republic beyond its borders. The paper argues that ‘Salam Farmandeh’ is a means of symbolic politics that aims at building and strengthening a common national identity in line with the Islamic Republic’s ideological values among the country’s youth at home while at the same time aiming at creating an attractive image of the Islamic Republic abroad.
The paper studies the combination of audio and visual materials and demonstrates how they are used to create emotional appeal to empower the song as an instrument of identity building and mobilization. The paper relies on theories and concepts of rhetoric and visual rhetoric, focusing particularly on the concept of pathos or emotional engagement.