Iran Scoffs At Oscar-Winning 'Argo'

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- "Argo" may have won best picture at last night's Academy Awards, but Iran isn't impressed.

Iranian officials are dismissing the movie based on the escape of six American hostages from the besieged U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 as anti-Iran. A Tehran City Council member who was one of the students who occupied the U.S. Embassy says the film exaggerates the violence among crowds that stormed the compound.

Meanwhile, state TV is deriding "Argo" as "an advertisement for the CIA."

The negative reviews come despite the fact that the Oscar-winning film has not been screened in any Iranian theaters.

However, bootleg DVDs of "Argo" are selling in downtown Tehran for less than $1, and many Iranians have seen it. Some viewers disparage it as U.S. propaganda but others welcome it a fresh view of their recent history.

One retired teacher who saw the Revolution first hand says it's "close to the realities then." And the moderate newspaper Hamshahri calls it a "worthwhile" perspective on "the events that led to the collapse of relations between the U.S. and Iran."