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Iranians Get Lessons in U.S. Politics From Trump, Clinton and ‘House of Cards’

  • Broadcasters carried presidential debate live for first time
  • Programming reinforces official line on Washington corruption
Iranians enjoy the late evening view of the city skyline and the Milad Tower, also known as the Tehran Tower, center, from Tochal mountain in Tehran.
Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
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Viewers of Iranian state television have been given an unprecedented taste of the seamier side of U.S. politics, both real and imagined, leaving many in a country where governance is more opaque wondering about the choice facing Americans in November.

Over the last fortnight, the Namayesh channel has shown the first series of “House of Cards,” the early episodes of the fictional Frank Underwood’s ruthless rise to the White House. A little over a day after Saturday’s final program, the main state TV news network IRINN carried the first ever live broadcast in the Islamic Republic of a U.S. presidential debate -- between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.