The CIA on Friday good naturedly highlighted the inaccuracies in Oscar-winning Iran hostage drama "Argo," in a series of tweets to mark the anniversary of the 1979 crisis.
The 2012 film tells the story of a bold Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operation to rescue six US diplomats trapped in the Canadian ambassador's residence in Tehran.
It is well known that the movie takes liberties with the facts, including a white-knuckle airport runway chase at the end, and the significant underplaying of Canada's role in resolving the crisis and rescuing the diplomats.
But just in case anyone had forgotten, the CIA gave a blow-by-blow account on their Twitter feed, under the keywords "reel" (cinema) and "real" (genuine).
Here are some excerpts:
- Reel #Argo: "When the US Embassy is overtaken the 6 US diplomats go right to the Canadian ambassador's residence to live for the 3 months."
- Real #Argo: "5 of them went to many different places until they ended up at the homes of the Canadian Ambassador & the Dep. Chief of Mission."
- Reel #Argo: The CIA officer and the six diplomats go into town to scout locations.
- Real #Argo: They never went to the marketplace to scout a location. The six hid in the Canadian's homes for 79 days.
- Reel #Argo: Airline tickets are not waiting at the counter and have to be rechecked before the tickets are authorized and confirmed.
- Real #Argo: The Canadians had already purchased the tickets for the Americans. There were no issues at the counter nor the checkpoints.
- Reel #Argo: The Americans are detained at the airport by security guards & a call is made back to "Studio Six" to verify their identity.
- Real #Argo: It didn't happen. An early flight was picked so airline officials would be sleepy & Revolutionary Guards would still be in bed.
- Reel #Argo: The plane clears Iranian air space and the Americans cheer and celebrate.
- Real #Argo: That happened; there was even a round of celebratory Bloody Marys. #ThankYouCanada.
When "Argo" was released the Canadian ambassador, Ken Taylor -- who is now 80 years old -- made his views clear about regarding some aspects of the movie's accuracy.
"The movie's fun, it's thrilling, it's pertinent, it's timely," he told the Toronto Star. "But look, Canada was not merely standing around watching events take place. The CIA was a junior partner," he said.
The US embassy was stormed on November 4, 1979, triggering a crisis which lasted 444 days and is widely credited with ending any re-election hopes president Jimmy Carter might have had.