Iranian state television has dropped a soap opera starring one of the country's most popular actors.
Mehran Modiri had completed filming a 30-part series called Black Coffee which was based around the story of five years of rule by a dictatorial and incompetent regime, whose mistakes were later eliminated from Iran's history books.
State television, however, declined to show the completed series, so in a gesture of defiance, Modiri is now selling DVDs of every episode, advertising it on banners hung across Tehran streets.
The star has in effect found a private way of ensuring that his series reaches homes, regardless of the wishes of state television. "This is the first time a private 'channel' inside Iran is being created, standing up against state television and threatening its monopoly," said one analyst.
The Islamic regime has acted against its opponents in politics and the media, but it treads more carefully in dealing with popular television and sports stars - as demonstrated by the fact the banners advertising the series remain in place.
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