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Movie Based on 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis Departs From Facts With Good Effect, Says Expert

(Ben Affleck directed and starred in "Argo.")

(Ben Affleck directed and starred in “Argo.”)

Steve Tawa Steve Tawa
Steve Tawa joined KYW Newsradio in 1990, and splits his time between...
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By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The new thriller Argo may be loosely based on real events during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, but a local expert on terrorism who has extensive experience in the US intelligence community says there are many “Hollywood moments” in it.

turzanski Movie Based on 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis Departs From Facts With Good Effect, Says Expert

(Ed Turzanski. Photo provided)

LaSalle University professor Ed Turzanski, a Templeton Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, notes that the movie, starring Ben Affleck, “is not a completely accurate and detailed rendering of what actually happened.”

The covert operation was declassified after the fact, by the Clinton administration.

“I won’t take the place of your film critic,” Turzanski tells KYW Newsradio, “but if people want to be entertained, your money and time will be well spent.”

The film, which Affleck also directed, dramatizes the secret joint operation by the CIA and Canadian government to extract six American diplomats from Tehran after they escaped during the embassy takeover.

“The filmmaker takes some poetic license to make the story even more dramatic,” Turzanski notes.  “The shame of it is, the thing was plenty dramatic to begin with.”

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