UK & World News

  • 12 March 2013, 13:50

Argo: Iran May Sue Over 'Unrealistic' Film

Iranian authorities are reportedly planning to sue Hollywood over the Oscar-winning Argo because of the movie's "unrealistic portrayal" of the country.

Several news outlets, including the pro-reform Shargh daily, said French lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre is in Iran for talks with officials over how and where to file the lawsuit.

Ms Coutant-Peyre is also the lawyer for notorious Venezuelan-born terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, who is better known as Carlos the Jackal.

The decision on the lawsuit came after a group of Iranian cultural officials and movie critics screened the film in a closed audience in a cinema in Tehran.

The gathering, entitled "The Hoax of Hollywood," apparently discussed various legal aspects of filing a lawsuit.

But it remains unclear what specific charges Iran could raise and what court Tehran could turn to if the action goes ahead.

Those at the meeting dismissed Argo as a "violation of international cultural norms".

Officials had previously dismissed director Ben Affleck's film as anti-Iranian propaganda and an "advertisement for the CIA".

While Argo has not been officially released in Iran, there has been no shortage of buzz from ordinary Iranians who have seen the movie on bootleg DVDs.

The story is based on the real-life escape of six American hostages from the besieged US Embassy in Tehran in 1979.

City council member Masoomeh Ebtekar - who was one of the students who took part in the occupation - said the film exaggerates the violence among the crowds that stormed the compound.

And the semi-official Mehr news agency said the movie's Oscar for Best Picture was politically motivated, because it had been co-presented from the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama.