Although the pop culture of America is still looked upon with disapproval in Iran, House of Cards, which depicts the political scenario of the US, is something the Iranian hard-liners are pointing at to describe how the “dirty” politics plays in the US.
The Iranian state television has allowed its viewers to take a sneak peek into the American politics by airing the first season of House of Cards over the last fortnight.
The Netflix series, House of Cards, which stars Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood, follows the character’s ruthless rise to power. Iran’s primary state news network IRINN aired a presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for the first time in the Islamic Republic, shortly after the final program on Saturday.
The move also reflects the way Iranian censors operate, which strongly disapproves of the bedroom scenes but allows viewers to binge into a portrayal of the dark American politics and even murders in the corridors of the white House.
“It follows a story that the Iranian government has tried to promote about U.S. politicians for a while,” the Chicago Tribune quoted Fouad Izadi, who teaches American politics at the University of Tehran, as saying. “That they look nice, wear a tie and may use deodorant but the way they engage in activities is problematic and often very unethical.”
The House of Cards is aired every night at 11 pm in Farsi, under the title “Khaneh Poushaly,” meaning straw house, on the state-run Namayesh channel. The show started airing since late September, the Star reported.
The broadcast of House of Cards in a country that considers the Western pop culture un-Islamic is an extremely rare occurrence. Although the government has banned several websites, a ban on satellite dishes isn’t common. Pirated DVDs of foreign movies and TV shows are widely available in street markets which are purchased by many Iranians, mostly the young.