October 26th, 2011
12:58 PM ET

Targeting Iran with humor

By CNN's Laurie Ure

A hip and edgy comedy show is rapidly gaining popularity in - of all places - Iran, much to the chagrin of that country's leaders, who are often the butt of the program's jokes.

"Parazit," Voice of America's satirical Farsi-language television broadcast, takes jabs at Iranian culture, politics, leadership. Everything is fair game, much in the style of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" in the United States.

The program's reach is such that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will tape an interview on the show Wednesday.

Funded by the U.S. government and produced from VOA's Persian News Network studios in Washington, the program's no-holds-barred, in-your-face approach aims to "tickle the foundation of power," according to the "Parazit" producers.

Co-creators Saman Arbabi, 38, and Kambiz Hosseini, 35, hatched the idea to help fill what they say is a void created by Iran's lack of government transparency and free press.

Two of the show's biggest targets are Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and religious Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. FULL POST

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Filed under: Diplomacy • Hillary Clinton • Iran • Secretary of State