The new accolades for the Academy Award-winning film Argo has a pair of former U.S. Ambassadors who were held captive for more than 400 days during the Iran hostage crisis.
The story about the daring rescue in 1979 of six American diplomats in Iran took top honors at Sunday night’s Academy Awards.
Ben Affleck, the film’s director and star, acknowledged Iran, a country where former ambassadors Bruce Laingen and John Limbert were both held hostage for 444 days. They say the Oscar-winning film has helped refocus attention on what happened 34 years ago.
“Watching that movie was a pleasure,” says Laingen. “I expected it to be because it highlights the important role Iran plays on the world scene today.”
“I’m glad to see the recognition for it because it’s forced Iran to confront a very ugly chapter from their history,” says Limbert.
Ambassador Laingen was the Chief of the mission and Ambassador Limbert was the First Deputy Assistant Secretary of State to Iran. They both lived through a time that, they say, was for the most part portrayed well in the movie.
“The attack on the embassy to me was very, very real,” says Laingen.
“The security officer says, ‘Don’t start shooting. You’re going to cause a war. You’re going to get us killed,’ and that was very, very true," says Limbert.
And as for the future of U.S.-Iran relations, both men urge diplomacy.
“I hope and pray that time will let us begin a dialogue with each other. I feel strongly about that.”