Iran General NewsIran wants apology from Hollywood team

Iran wants apology from Hollywood team

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ImageAFP: The art advisor to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad urged a visiting Hollywood delegation to apologise for "insults and slanders" about Iranians in films, the ISNA news agency reported on Saturday.

ImageTEHRAN (AFP) — The art advisor to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad urged a visiting Hollywood delegation to apologise for "insults and slanders" about Iranians in films, the ISNA news agency reported on Saturday.

"(Iranian) cinema officials will only have the right to have official sessions with… Hollywood movie makers when they apologise to the Iranians for their 30 years of insults and slanders," Javad Shamaghdari said.

"The Iranian people and our revolution has been repeatedly unjustly attacked by Hollywood," he said, citing '300' and recent Oscar nominated movie 'The Wrestler' as among offending films.

In 2007, the war epic '300', a smash hit in the United States for its gory portrayal of the Greco-Persian wars, drew the wrath of Iranians for showing their ancestors as bloodthirsty.

Similarly 'The Wrestler', was booed in Iran and heavily criticised for the scene of breaking and tearing of the Iranian flag by the picture's star, 2009 Oscar nominee Mickey Rourke.

"We will believe (US President Barack) Obama's policy of change when we see change in Hollywood too, and if Hollywood wants to correct its behaviour towards Iranian people and Islamic culture then they have to officially apologise," Shamaghdari added.

The visiting film makers are from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organisation which stages the Oscars.

Leslie Unger, the Acadamy's director of communications, told AFP on Friday that a group of members are in Iran on a completely private initiative for educational and creative exchange and with no political agenda."

She confirmed Iranian media reports saying the delegation included AMPAS president Sid Ganis, former president Frank Pierson, actress Annette Bening and producer William Horberg.

They have been invited to Iran by the Iranian Alliance of Motion Pictures to hold a series of workshop meetings in Tehran.

US-Iranian diplomatic relations were severed 30 years ago after Iran's Islamic revolution, and the rift has been further aggravated since Tehran controversially revived its nuclear program.

But Washington and Tehran have been showing tentative policy shifts after Obama earlier this month said his administration would be ready in coming months to hold a "face-to-face" talk with Tehran.

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