Robin Wright writes: The first season of “House of Cards,” the Netflix series about the demonic American politician Frank Underwood and his duplicitous wife, Claire, recently made its début on Iranian television, just in time for the finale of the American elections. The show has been dubbed in Farsi — as “Khaneh Poushaly,” or “House of Straw” — by a state-run television channel. It ran every night for two weeks. The timing seemed deliberate, and authorized from the top: the Islamic Republic vigorously censors most American programs, and the director of Iran’s broadcasting authority, I.R.I.B., is appointed by the Supreme Leader.
Among hard-liners, the response to the series has been gleeful. It fits their profile of the United States as the Great Satan. Mashregh, a Web site linked to the Revolutionary Guards, commented, “House of Cards has skillfully shown the deception in the complicated political sphere of liberal American civilization, as well as the treason, power-hungriness, promiscuities and crimes behind those ruling in the country.”
Iran’s media has generally been obsessed with the upcoming American contest, even more than with the country’s own Presidential election, scheduled for next May. Mashregh has an entire page devoted to it. For the first time, Iranian television broadcast an American Presidential debate live, in simultaneous translation — the October 9th encounter, in which Donald Trump denied sexually assaulting women and threatened to put Hillary Clinton in prison if he is elected. [Continue reading…]