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Controversial TV Series Enrages Rouhani Administration Officials

A scene from the controversial television series Gando, which is an Iranian alligator species.

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 bad light.

Meanwhile, outspoken ultraconservative MP Javad Karimi Ghoddousi has welcomed the series and the way it portrayed the Rouhani administration.

The Iranian TV on Tuesday July 8 aired the 30th and final episode of Gando, which is based on conspiracy theories, and according to its director, Javad Afshar, is about the Washington Post Reporter Jayson 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 which is 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 that 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 which are about a relative of Rouhani being allegedly involved in an espionage case, and a character who plays Zarif have 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.