Iranian officials are so angered at the way the Oscar-winning film “Argo” portrayed their country, they plan to sue its makers, including director Ben Affleck.
Iran media is reporting today that the government is in talks with French lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre to figure out where and how to sue the filmmakers for the movie’s “unrealistic portrayal” of the Islamic republic, according to translations by the Associated Press.
Coutant-Peyre has represented Zacarias Moussaoui, a convicted terrorist who helped plan the September 11 attacks, as well as convicted terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, known as Carlos the Jackal.
The Iranians have taken umbrage with “Argo” since last year’s debut of the film, about a CIA agent who spirits out six Americans from Tehran following the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Various state-controlled news agencies have labeled the film “anti-Iranian” and “un-Islamic” and called its portrayal of events “ahistoric.”
Iranian authorities held a closed screening of the film this week at a conference called “The Hoax of Hollywood.” The film has not been approved by the country’s culture authorities for the public, but bootleg DVD copies can be readily purchased on the streets of Tehran.
Following the meeting, cultural authorities released a statement calling “Argo” a “violation of international cultural norms,” according to Shargh daily newspaper and the AP.
“Awarding an anti-Iran movie is a propaganda attack against our nation and entire humanity,” the committee said in response to the film’s Best Picture Oscar, received at February’s Academy Awards.
Iran has a vibrant film scene, but it is strictly controlled by the government. In September Iran submitted a film “A Cube of Sugar” for Oscar consideration, but shortly after said it would boycott the Academy Awards in retaliation for the anti-Muslim YouTube video “Innocence of Muslims.” “A Cube of Sugar” was not, however, nominated for an award.
A spokesman for Warner Brother, the company that produced “Argo,” would not comment on any potential lawsuit.