Iran Response to Argo: Best Picture Slammed by Iran Media

By Jack Phillips
Epoch Times Staff
Created: February 25, 2013 Last Updated: February 26, 2013
Related articles: World » Middle East
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Iran response to “Argo”: The Ben Affleck-directed thriller, “Argo,” was panned by Iranian state media after it won the Best Picture honor during the Academy Awards.

Ben Affleck arrives for the 2013 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Feb. 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez/AFP/Getty Images)

Ben Affleck arrives for the 2013 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Feb. 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez/AFP/Getty Images)

Iranian state-run media condemned the Academy Awards after giving the Best Picture honor to “Argo”—a film about the rescue of U.S. diplomats during the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979.

In a report titled, “Argo lacks artistic value,” state-run Press TV quoted Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Hosseini as saying that the film is “anti-Iranian” and that “Iran is determined to respond to the film by producing robust cinematic works.”

Hosseini further described “Argo” as a “movie is devoid of artistic aspect and is very weak from the artistic point of view.” He said that the enemies of Iran, namely the United States, can not do better than that, and said it was a propaganda piece that serves to undermine the interests of the Islamic Republic.

The thriller is based on the true story of the rescue of six U.S. diplomats when the U.S. Embassy was taken over by during the 1979 revolution. After the hostage incident, Iran and the U.S. ended diplomatic relations with one another and tensions between the two have remained high, namely over the Islamic Republic’s controversial nuclear program.

The Mehr News Agency, an Iranian semi-official media entity, also panned First Lady Michelle Obama for presenting the award to the “Argo” filmmakers.

“Hollywood has been an instrument for the U.S. politicians to use it for their political purposes, not based on reality, but one-sided and distorted, to present to the world,” Mehr said.

And on the streets of Tehran, many Iranians said they didn’t like the film’s portrayal of the country.

“I am secular, atheist and not pro-regime but I think the film ‘Argo’ has distorted history and insulted Iranians,” a cafe owner named Hossain told the Los Angeles Times. “For me, it wasn’t even a good thriller.”

Farzaneh Haji, a homemaker, said she “did not enjoy seeing my fellow countrymen and women insulted.”

“The men then were not all bearded and fanatical. To be anti-American was a fashionable idea among young people across the board,” she said. “Even non-bearded and U.S.-educated men and women were against American imperialism.”

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