CIA ‘debunks Hollywood myths’ on Iran 1979 crisis

The CIA sent out more than 20 tweets revealing never-seen facts about the incident that were misrepresented in 'Argo'. (Photo courtesy: Argo)

Marking the 35th anniversary of the Iranian Hostage Crisis in 1979, the Central Intelligence Agency tweeted several  facts that were misrepresented in the 2012 Hollywood adaptation of the incident, “Argo.”

Supporters of the Iranian Revolution fueled by an anti-American climate sweeping the country stormed the United States Embassy in Tehran on Nov.4 of 1979, holding 52 members of its staff hostage for 444 days.

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The CIA sent out more than 20 tweets revealing never-seen facts about the incident that were misrepresented in the film, which U.S. actor Ben Affleck, wrote, directed and starred in.

The film is Hollywood’s rendition of the CIA operation that managed to sneak six diplomats, who managed to escape the embassy to seek refuge in the Canadian ambassador’s home, out of Iran and back to the U.S.

The CIA Twitter account debunked some myths that were portrayed in the film.

Spoiler alert

In the film, the six diplomats pose as a Canadian film crew who were in Iran to scout for locations for a new Sci-Fi film, as per the plan one (two in reality) CIA operative who ventured into the country plotted and executed.

Towards the end of the movie, as the six diplomats and the CIA operative are just about to board a plane, a brawl with Iranian revolutionary guards who were weary of the foreigners allegations of being from Canada, may have exposed them for who they were, members of the U.S. consular staff who Iranian authorities were after.

According to the CIA, that never happened.

“An early flight was picked so airline officials would be sleepy & Revolutionary Guards would still be in bed.”

Another myth debunked: Iranian guards at the embassy employed several people to piece back documents, shredded by consular staff in effort to destroy sensitive material, who managed to identify several of those who managed to escape.

The CIA clarified that while they did indeed employ “skilled carpet weavers, ” “they didn’t reveal one of the Americans at the last moment.”

The tweets also shed light on the film’s exaggerated portrayal of a turbulent last few hours in Iran.

“Real #Argo: There was an hour long mechanical delay, other than that the escape could not have gone better. #nochase.”

The tweets marked the release of new CIA records revealing new facts about the incident.

“Having checked around to make sure that it was secure, that everything classified had been destroyed, I opened the door and there they [the Iranian students] were,” recalled Tom Ahern, then chief of the CIA station in Tehran.

Parallel to the U.S. commemoration of the incident, Iran’s FARS news agency reported “tens of thousands of Iranians” who took to the streets to remember the incident, which has been designated a “National Day of Campaign against Global Arrogance” in the Islamic republic.

Iranians have celebrated the “occasion” every year since 1979, FARS noted.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44
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