Tehran Says Oscar-winning 'Argo' Is Weak and 'anti-Iran'

Iranians scold the U.S. for 'politicization' of the best-picture award by having first lady announce the winner.


Oscar-winning best picture "Argo," about a CIA mission to rescue American diplomats from Tehran after the Islamic revolution, is anti-Iranian, Iran's culture minister said on Monday in a news-agency report.

Also, it isn't any good, the minister added.

"This anti-Iran film lacks any artistic aspects and it is a very weak film from an artistic perspective, and we don't expect anything else from the enemy," Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad Hosseini said, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.

"Argo," based on a true story, was voted best film on Sunday after winning a host of other Hollywood awards. The Iran hostage drama also won best film editing and best adapted screenplay for its tale of the CIA mission to rescue six U.S. diplomats from Tehran shortly after the Islamic revolution.

The best picture Oscar for "Argo" was announced in one of the best-kept secrets in the history of Oscar telecasts when First Lady Michelle Obama made an unprecedented video appearance from the White House to open the winning envelope.

Some Iranian news agencies have said the decision to award the Oscar to "Argo" showed how Hollywood was infused by politics.

"The politicization of selecting Argo even involved the White House and the announcing of the winner was left for Michelle Obama, the wife of the American president," the official IRNA news agency reported.

"Argo" has not appeared in any Iranian cinemas but the movie has been widely available on bootleg DVDs in the black market in Tehran.

Despite tough censorship and the repression of leading filmmakers, Iranian art cinema has earned international acclaim over the past 20 years. Asghar Farhadi's "A Separation" won the Oscar for best foreign language film last year, the first Iranian film to do so.

Iran said in September it would boycott the 2013 Oscars to protest the making of a crude anti-Islam video in the United States that has caused outrage throughout the Muslim world.

Ben Affleck accepts the award for Best Director - Motion Picture for 'Argo' on stage on at the Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California, Jan. 13, 2013.Credit: NBC / Reuters

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