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Iran Demands Apology for The Wrestler, 300

IRAN demanded an apology from a team of visiting Hollywood actors and the industry officials for films such as The Wrestler and 300, saying the movies were “insulting” to Iranians.

An adviser to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Javad Shamaqdari said on Sunday without an apology, members of Iran’s film industry should refuse to meet with the representatives from the nine-member team.

“In my viewpoint, it is a failure to have an official meeting with one who is insulting,” he said.

The Wrestler starring Mickey Rourke as a rundown professional wrestler who is preparing for a rematch with his old nemesis, “The Ayatollah.” During a fight scene, “The Ayatollah” tries to choke Rourke with an Iranian flag before Rourke pulls the flagpole away, breaks it and throws it into the cheering crowd.

The movie 300 portrays the battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC in which a force of 300 Spartans held off a massive Persian army at a mountain pass in Greece for three days. It angered many Iranians for the way Persians are depicted as decadent, sexually flamboyant and evil in contrast to the noble Greeks.

 Neither of the movies was screened in Iran. Shamaqdari says Iranians will warmly host the visiting Americans “but it will not stop Iranians from demanding an apology.”

The visits come as President Barack Obama has indicated a new willingness to open up relations with Iran.  The group includes the President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Sid Ganis; actors Bening, and Alfre Woodard; producer William Horberg; AMPAS Special Events Programmer and Exhibitions Curator Ellen Harrington; and Tom Pollock, the former Universal Pictures chairman. –– Chinaview.

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