Iran is planning to sue Hollywood over the Oscar-winning film Argo because of its allegedly “unrealistic portrayal” of the country, Iranian media reported. Several news outlets, including the pro-reform Shargh daily, said the French lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre is in Iran for talks with officials about how and where to file the lawsuit.
After its Oscar win last month, Iranian officials dismissed Argo as pro-CIA, anti-Iran propaganda. The lawyer told the semi-official Mehr news agency that she plans to start a campaign to show that Argo is a lie, while pressing to stop distribution of the movie.
“We will be able to block distributors of the movie, force them to apologise and challenge them to confess that the movie is nothing but a sheer lie,” the lawyer said.
Though the movie isn’t showing in any Iranian theatres, many Iranians have seen it on bootleg DVDs, setting off a heated debate that has exposed a generational divide.
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 Tehran theatre on Monday.
The gathering – titled “The Hoax of Hollywood”– discussed the legal aspects of filing a lawsuit, media reports said, without providing details. It is 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”. A statement issued afterwards said that “awarding an anti-Iran movie is a propaganda attack against our nation and entire humanity”.
The statement did not clarify how the movie was allegedly unrealistic, but officials have accused Argo of depicting Iranians as “too violent”. – AP