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Iran scoffs at Oscar-winning 'Argo'

Monday - 2/25/2013, 2:09pm  ET

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."

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APPHOTO VAH103: In this Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 photo, Tehran City Council member Masoomeh Ebtekar, who was one of the students who occupied the U.S. Embassy in 1979 and acted as the Iranian students' spokeswoman, speaks in an interview with The Associated Press, in Tehran, Iran. Iran's state TV dismissed the Oscar-winning film "Argo" on Monday as an "advertisement for the CIA" and some Iranians called the award a political statement by America for its unflattering portrayal of the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Ebtekar says the film exaggerates the violence among crowds that stormed the compound in November 1979. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) (25 Feb 2013)

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APPHOTO VAH101: A man walks past the main gate of the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran, where militant Iranian students seized on Nov. 4, 1979, believing the embassy to be a center of plots against Iran, and then held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days, in Iran, Monday, Feb. 25, 2013. Iran's state TV dismissed the Oscar-winning film "Argo" on Monday as an "advertisement for the CIA" and some Iranians called the award a political statement by America for its unflattering portrayal of the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Wreckage of a US helicopter which crashed in 1980 during a failed US mission to free 52 American hostages held at the US embassy is placed on the gate. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) (25 Feb 2013)

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