Iranian presidential adviser Hessamodin Ashna and Foreign
Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi have criticized Iran's state TV for airing a
controversial series that has allegedly showed President Hassan Rouhani and
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a negative light.
Meanwhile, outspoken ultraconservative MP Javad Karimi Ghoddousi has welcomed the series and the way it portrayed the Rouhani administration.
Iranian TV aired on Tuesday, July 8 the 30th and final episode of “Gando”, which is based on conspiracy theories. According to show’s director, Javad Afshar, the plot is based on Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, who was jailed in Iran prior to the 2015 nuclear deal with the West.
However, the character in the series is named Michael Hashemian and works for another publication based in New York.
The series alleges several times that all reporters are spies, members of the Rouhani administration are pro-Western conformist compromisers, and the IRGC intelligence knows everything about everyone in Iran and watches them all the time on gigantic big-brother-style monitors.
Parts of the series are about a relative of Rouhani being allegedly involved in an espionage case, while a character who plays Zarif has been harshly criticized by social media activists and politicians close to the administration.
The Foreign Ministry spokesman has said that "the portrayal of Foreign Ministry colleagues and Mr. Zarif does not correspond to reality."
Presidential adviser Ashna said in a tweet that the series "has been funded by institutions outside the state TV with the intention of weakening the Rouhani administration."
The state TV, IRIB, has promised to air a sequel soon.