News / Arts & Entertainment

Iran Readies Legal Action Against 'Argo' Film

Scene from the movie 'Argo'.Scene from the movie 'Argo'.
x
Scene from the movie 'Argo'.
Scene from the movie 'Argo'.
Lisa Bryant

A high-profile French lawyer says Iran will soon take legal action in Europe and the United States against the Academy Award-winning movie Argo, for what Iran alleges is deliberately falsifying history and misrepresenting Iran.

Is it a Hollywood blockbuster only loosely based on fact …or a smear campaign against Iran? French lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre says the Islamic republic believes the American movie Argo deliberately aims to blind its audiences through a twisted portrayal of Iran and Iranians.

In a telephone interview, Coutant-Peyre says the Iranian culture minister asked her to engage in what she calls "useful legal procedures" against the film's distributors and makers. She says that could happen in a matter of weeks, both in Europe and the United States.

Coutant-Peyre says Argo depicts Iranians as crazy, violent and hysterical, which does not at all correspond to the country's ancient culture and civilization. She says it is a Hollywood production with "good guys and bad guys" - very much, she says, like U.S. foreign policy.


Representatives of Warner Brothers, which distributed the film, have said they will have no comment on any Iranian legal moves. The studio did not return calls from VOA.


Argo is based on the 1979 American Embassy hostage crisis in Iran. That was more than 30 years ago. Today, Iran and the international community are at loggerheads over Tehran's nuclear program. Iran claims it is for peaceful purposes, but Western nations fear the country is trying to build a nuclear bomb.

Coutant-Peyre says France would be a good place to file suit against Argo's local distributor, because France once sheltered Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini.


She says Iran also wants to start legal proceedings against the movie's producer and director in the United States. She says Argo is one of several Hollywood productions that have what she calls a strategy of aggression against Iran.

Coutant-Peyre has a reputation for taking on controversial clients. She defended and also married Venezuelan terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, better known as Carlos the Jackal. He is serving a life sentence in France for deadly attacks in the 1980s.

Iran is hardly the first to question Argo's accuracy. Both former U.S. president Jimmy Carter and ex-Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor say elements of the film stray far from historical accuracy. And New Zealand's parliament has expressed dismay at its portrayal of Kiwis in Tehran as refusing to help the American hostages.


Argo's makers have previously acknowledged they took liberties with history.


Coutant-Peyre suggests that Iran knows it has little chance of winning a case against the movie. What is important, she says, is to launch a debate about the film, and to show the real face of Iran.

You May Like

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

Pianist Myra Melford’s new CD “Life Carries Me This Way” features solo piano interpretations of drawings by modern artist Don Reich. She performs songs from the album, talks about turning art into music, and joins host Eric Felten in some Chicago boogie-woogie on "Beyond Category."