Lifestyle & Belief

Iran to sue Affleck over 'Argo:' Reports


Ben Affleck (C), George Clooney (R) and Grant Heslov celebrate in the press room after winning the trophy for Best Picture for 'Argo' during the 85th Annual Academy Awards on February 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California.



Iran, meet Hollywood; Ben Affleck, meet the Islamic Republic -- um, in court.

Iran is reportedly threatening to sue over Affleck's latest film, "Argo," which depicts the 1979 US-Iran hostage crisis in a manner that has thoroughly angered the Persian nation. 

Iranian media on Tuesday said French lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre had arrived in the Islamic Republic to discuss potential lawsuit material, according to the Shargh daily newspaper cited by the Associated Press.

Iran was quick to denounce the film as pro-American propaganda soon after its February Oscar win, but legal threats are a new development. 

Details were not disclosed to local reporters, but Iran could theoretically go after the film's Warner Brothers distributor, producer George Clooney, or, of course, Affleck himself. If they do, The Atlantic said they'd probably "target all of the big names at the same time and make a pretty big deal out of it by whatever means possible."

These sorts of possibilities were reportedly discussed during a special "Hoax of Hollywood" meeting held in Tehran after a closed-door screening of the film, according to AP

The movie is banned in Iran but available through black market distribution, so Iranian officials have felt pressured to respond to domestic and international audiences. 

A statement released after the meeting denounced the film as a "violation of international cultural norms" and said that "awarding an anti-Iran movie is a propaganda attack against our nation and entire humanity," said AP

The Islamic Republic is not a lone wolf on this one -- many film reviewers in the United States and elsewhere have protested blatant historical inaccuracies in "Argo."

The New Yorker's Anthony Lane, for example, described the film's conclusion as "an expert helping of white lies.”

"Argo" centers around the cover used by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to rescue of several US hostages taken captive during the 1979 embassy crisis in Tehran.