Iran is planning to sue Hollywood over the Oscar-winning film “Argo” because of the movie’s alleged “unrealistic portrayal” of the country, Iranian media have reported.
Several news outlets, including the pro-reform Shargh daily, said on Tuesday that French lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre is in Iran for talks with officials over how and where to file the lawsuit.
The French lawyer, who notoriously acted for the Venezuelan-born terrorist, Carlos the Jackal, told Iranian state media she will try to block the film’s distribution and force an apology from the producers.
“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 told semi-official Mehr news agency.
The film portrays the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979, but Iran has described it as pro-CIA, anti-Iran propaganda.
Fifty two Americans were held hostage for 444 days, while six embassy staffers were sheltered by the Canadian ambassador.
Their escape, using a fake movie as a cover story, is recounted in “Argo”. The film has not screened in any Iranian theatres.
‘The Hoax of Hollywood’
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 late on Monday.
The gathering, titled “The Hoax of Hollywood”, discussed various legal aspects of filing a lawsuit, media reports said, without providing details.
It remains unclear what specific charges Iran could raise and what court Tehran could turn to if the action goes ahead.
This was not the first time Iran has claimed that Hollywood has pushed a distorted picture of the country.
In 2009, Iran demanded an apology from a team of visiting Hollywood actors and movie industry officials, including Annette Bening, saying films such as “300” and “The Wrestler” were “insulting” to Iranians.
The “300” angered Iranians who said the Greeks-versus-Persians action flick insults their ancient culture and provokes animosity against Iran.