Israeli TV ad humor presses Iran's buttons
REPORTING FROM JERUSALEM -- The assassination of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan in Tehran this month was one of the latest mysterious deaths and explosions in Iran in recent years, possibly connected to the country's controversial nuclear development plans.
Both the United States and Israel denied involvement in the incident after accusations of complicity by Iran. An alleged Iranian plan to retaliate by assassinating Israel's ambassador to Azerbaijan was foiled this week, according to reports.
Israel usually declines to comment officially on allegations of involvement in such events in Iran, although foreign reports repeatedly say Israel's Mossad is behind the incidents.
A recent ad on Israeli television, meanwhile, has taken a humorous swipe at the situation by pressing the hot-button issue.
The advertisement for the Hot cable company stars the cast of "Asfour" -- a wildly successful Israeli show recently sold to an American production company for adaptation -- in the Iranian city of Isfahan, home to a uranium conversion plant and the site of a blast in November.
One of the four characters -- dressed as women -- dabs some sun-screen on his face. "You know how much radiation they have here?" he asks as his friends raise their eyebrows. The actors stumble upon an Israeli Mossad agent cooling his heels in Iran, watching "Asfour" episodes on his tablet computer, a service feature that Hot advertises.
"Hey, what's this app?" one of them asks as he pokes the touch-screen. A massive explosion behind them answers his question. The blast is met with the line: "Just another mysterious explosion in Iran."
Other Hot company ads make a point of being funny, at least for Israelis. One of them stars David Duchovny, another interrupts an Israeli-Arab peace "ceremony." A recent survey has found that the ad is a favorite among Israelis.
-- Batsheva Sobelman
Video: "Asfour" with the Mossad in Isfahan, via YouTube