“Gando” controversy continues, producer to government: The truth is bitter

July 16, 2019 - 18:29

TEHRAN – Producer of “Gando” Mojtaba Amini has accused the government of intolerance of the truth after presidential chief of staff Mahmoud Vaezi called the story of the TV series about the espionage case of Jason Rezaian the product of its screenwriter’s imagination.

The last part of the 30-episode docudrama, which revolves around the spy case of Jason Rezaian, an Iranian-American journalist who served as Tehran bureau chief for the Washington Post, was aired last week on IRIB Channel 3.

The series faced some criticism from the government and the Foreign Ministry, which have been portrayed as uninformed, neutral and westernophile organizations in the production. 

In a press conference held last week, Vaezi said, “In the serial, some ardent revolutionary officials of the country have been introduced as reconcilable and Westernophile people who are dependent on foreigners.”  

He asked the IRIB to revise its negative attitudes toward the government.

In an open letter to Vaezi that was published on Tuesday, Amini wrote, “The series showed the world the reality and power of the Islamic Republic, and for those who may not know, the truth is bitter and may cause some people to complain about it.”

Rezaian was arrested in Iran in July 2014 and was convicted of espionage in a trial in 2015. On January 16, 2016, he and three other U.S. citizens were released in exchange for the release of seven Iranians who were accused or convicted of sanctions violations.

Earlier last week, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi also criticized the series a press conference.

“What is portrayed about the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and my colleagues is not firmly based on reality,” he said

“All the documents about the ministry’s talks and correspondence on this case are available, and if they had asked, we would have given them the documents to help the series seem much more realistic,” he added.

Writer Arash Qaderi contradicted Mousavi’s remarks during a press conference attended by director Javad Afshar, Amini and several members of the crew.

“The story of Jason’s case is exactly based on reality,” he noted.

“We had the actual file on the case and we remained loyal to it, however, we did not intend to make a documentary,” he added. 

Producer Amini also announced his plan to make a sequel to “Gando” and added, “Certain persons should make adjustments in their functional roles to avoid being the subject of ‘Gando’.”

Photo: Producer of “Gando” Mojtaba Amini in an undated photo.


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