Tawdry US campaign a gift for Iran hardliners
For hardliners in Iran, running down the United States has become a lot easier during the US election campaign-it’s just a matter of turning on the television. From the flurry of sexual assault allegations against Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails, the unsavoury campaign has been lapped up in Iran, particularly by those who remain staunchly opposed to closer ties with the West. For the first time, Iranian authorities allowed the last head-to-head debate between the two candidates to be aired live on television.
Perhaps not without coincidence, state TV has also been playing a dubbed version of hit US show “House of Cards” (renamed “Khaneh Poushaly” or “House of Straw”), which depicts the Washington beltway as a den of greed, scheming and murder. The supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, even joined the Twitter conversation during the third debate, writing: “US presidential race and issues two candidates raised is a typical result of lack of spirituality and faith among those in power.”
It is all music to the ears of conservatives in Iran, who fear last year’s nuclear accord with world powers may open the door to Western influences and undermine the 1979 Islamic revolution. Relations between Iran and the United States have been deeply troubled since diplomatic ties were broken after the revolution, and Iranian conservatives have defined the country primarily in opposition to Washington, which they call “The Great Satan”.
‘Weakness of US democracy’
Hamidreza Taraghi, a leading member of the conservative Islamic Coalition Party, said this year’s election campaign has “ridiculed” US politics. “That this process can produce candidates who are so corrupt and unbalanced, mentally and intellectually, shows the weakness of American democracy,” he said. Taraghi said it proved the value of Iran’s Guardian Council which disqualifies thousands of candidates before elections, although Iranian reformists complain the Council’s decisions are skewed against them. — AFP