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Zarif Complains To Khamenei About Slander On State TV

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks to the media after arriving at Viru Viru International Airport in Santa Cruz, July 23, 2019

The spokesperson for the Iranian Foreign Ministry says Mohammad Javad Zarif has complained in a letter to Khamenei about the way his character was depicted in a controversial series on state TV.

Abbas Mousavi told the press in Tehran on Monday July 29 that the TV series Gando aired during June and July has portrayed a disparaging image of Zarif and the Foreign Ministry.

He confirmed that Zarif has written a letter to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei stating that the state TV has depicted him as “a passive character whose behavior is marked with inaction.”

The series has been produced by Owj Media, a company affiliated with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and known for supplying anti-US posters and billboards to the Tehran municipality on various occasion.

One of the characters is a Zarif look-alike although he is a deputy foreign minister in the story.

The editor of Khabar Online Website Mohammad Mohajeri also reported in a comment on his Telegram channel that Zarif has complained against a “wave of insult and slander,” and Khamenei has noted in his reply to Zarif, “I am absolutely unhappy about any insult to you.”

The Foreign Ministry Spokesperson has confirmed the exchanges between Zarif and Khamenei.

Several other Rouhani administration officials have also protested the way administration officials have been portrayed in the TV series.

The director has said that the film is based on the “true story” of the detention of Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian and a number of other individuals the series linked to state officials including President Rouhani.

The character of Rezaian, however, is named as Michael Hashemian in the series, which according to film critics in Iran is full of wishful thinking about the way the IRGC Intelligence Organization operates.

In the series, the IRGC Intelligence monitors every move by Iranians on gigantic screens, and places bugs in people’s homes and work places. However, there is no trace of the organization’s notorious heavy-handed treatment of inmates.