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

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

Graham Nash has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice – once for his work with The Hollies and once as part of Crosby, Stills & Nash. The legendary folk-rocker joins "Border Crossings" host Larry London to talk about his latest project, “CSN 2012,” which captured on video recent live performances by Crosby, Stills & Nash.