Iran blasts 'political' Oscar winner Argo

Tehran attacks Oscar winner while Michelle Obama's off-the-shoulder dress gets a makeover

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 February, 2013, 4:46am

Tehran criticised Hollywood for awarding its top honour to the Iran hostage drama Argo, saying the decision was political and pointing to US first lady Michelle Obama's surprise appearance at the Oscar ceremony as evidence.

"This anti-Iran movie lacks artistic value," Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad Hosseini was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.

"It was awarded the top honour through a massive financing and advertisement campaign ... so that it attracts more attention worldwide," said Hosseini, who also accused Hollywood of targeting the Islamic republic.

This anti-Iran movie lacks artistic value ... It was awarded the top honour through a massive financing and advertisement campaign ... so that it attracts more attention worldwide

Iran's state television earlier slammed the 85th Academy Awards as "the most political Oscar ever," as it reported the news that Argo had won the coveted best film Oscar.

The broadcaster accused its director and star Ben Affleck of specialising "in exaggeration, blowing things out of proportion and creating false scenes".

The movie recounts the long-classified CIA plot to extract six US hostages out of revolutionary Iran, who evaded Islamist students storming the US embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979.

The other 52 hostages were held for 444 days in an action that ruptured diplomatic ties between Washington and Tehran.

Although Argo takes liberties with history by its makers' own admission, the movie has racked up honours on the awards circuit.

The movie's Oscar win was announced by the US first lady in an unprecedented satellite appearance from the White House.

The Fars news agency was also critical of Obama and her silver low-cut gown, which would have been banned in the Islamic republic under its strict dress code for women.

Fars' photo of her announcing the winner appeared to have been altered - her dress was shown covering her shoulders, in contrast to the original which showed her bare-shouldered.

Iran and the United States are locked in a tense showdown over an array of issues, including Tehran's nuclear ambitions. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last week criticised Hollywood as being a "totally political" machine that propagates policies brewed in Washington.