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Montana World Affairs Founder Relates True-Life Story of ‘Argo’ [AUDIO]

Ben Affleck
Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images

The movie Argo was chosen last week as the Best Picture for 2012 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but Montana World Affairs Council founder Mark Johnson was actually in Iran when the revolution occurred.

Johnson says the Canadians played a much greater role in the story than Hollywood portrayed, and that the Canadian ambassador and his staff were the true heroes of the story.

Johnson said he was in Tehran around the time of the Iranian revolution and related how the embassy was taken over by Islamic fundamentalists. He said officials had to falsify the number of people taken captive so that Iranian officials wouldn’t realize they were several hostages short.

Johnson said one Canadian official actually saved the day when he examined the fake passports that were to be used by the escaping Americans, and realized they had been incorrectly dated. He changed the dates, and the embassy workers were able to escape successfully.

Johnson said once the Argo ‘film crew’ actually got to the Tehran airport, they were able to walk directly to a Swiss-Air jet and leave the country. Johnson said the runway chase by Iranian guards was entirely fictional.

Closing on a humorous note, Johnson said when the Oscar broadcast was shown in Iran, Islamic officials photo-shopped First Lady Michelle Obama’s bare arms, covering them with an Islamic garment to keep from offending the local audience.

Montana World Affairs Council Founder Mark Johnson

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