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Iran's Ministers Summoned Over Hollywood Team


Members of Iran's parliament have summoned three of the nation's top officials to explain why a Hollywood team is in Tehran, after Iranian officials said they considered several recent Hollywood movies insulting.

Iran's state TV says parliament's cultural commission issued the call Wednesday to the foreign and intelligence ministers as well as the minister of culture and Islamic guidance. Commission member Javad Arianmanesh says he wants the ministers to tell who invited the delegation to the capital and why.

Arianmanesh says Iran's identity has been "insulted" by Hollywood.

At issue is the film The Wrestler, which has a scene showing actor Mickey Rourke besting a character named "the Ayatollah" and breaking a flagpole holding an Iranian flag. Iran has also cited the movie 300, about a battle between Sparta and Persia, saying it distorts historical facts.

Also, an advisor to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has demanded an apology from the group, which arrived Friday.

The Hollywood actors and executives are holding filmmaking and movie marketing workshops. On Sunday, a delegation member, actress Annette Bening, told reporters she hopes the group can help establish a dialogue between Iran and the U.S.

The team was assembled by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization behind the yearly Academy Awards.

Another member of the delegation, AMPAS president Sid Qanis, was quoted by Iranian state media as saying the visit was cultural, not political and that the group does not represent Hollywood.

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