Politics in Argo: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Diplomacy and Espionage

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The film begins with a short Persian Empire history which leads to many current moments.  The government of Iran was removed from power with the help of U.S and Britain. Shash led the country up to 1979, that was when he was overthrown because of his oppressive policies and his continues effort to westernize the nation.  with the American embassy being invaded by the with the revolutionaries from Iran and fifty-six American citizens taken into hostage, only six escaped and took refuge in the home of Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor. The paper reviews the Ago film and its political themes.

          After Shash was overthrown and his part taken by Ayatollah, he was exiled to Egypt and later to the United States for humanitarian reasons and to receive cancer treatment.  People from Iran viewed the fact that Carter the president of America accepted Shash into the country as more fuel to the anti-American fire. The political theme comes in here since the issue which is not politics is politicized; the main reason why Shash was accepted into the country was humanitarian purposes. The people of Iran view it as if the American president is in his support making them be the anti-American government.

          Another theme of politics comes in when the same United States government that supported the overthrowing of Shash is now considered as the enemy of Iran. That is, politics is always considered a dynamic game, it can change any time. The supporter at one time is easily considered enemy another time. Under normal condition, the United States government should be considered loyal and its actions understood, suppose it was in support of Shash leadership, it would not have support activities that led to him being overthrown as the government leader.

          On 4th November 1979, outside the United States Embassy, Iran militants were protesting.  They demanded Shash to be returned to Iran for trial. That means they were trying to fuel the return of Shash through the United States embassy since he was in America. The Americans in Iran were suffering the consequence of keeping Shash in their state. Politics go hand in hand with mass action. In most cases, the people go on a rampage to see the right thing done. Like in this case, the people want the former president tried and charged with the wrong deeds during his leadership.

          Politics is always associated with orders from above or top leaders, for instance, orders are given to destroy all the Embassy records. The order of destruction is specified, it should be done through burning and shredding, equipment is also supposed to be destroyed. The embassy is stormed, 66 out of 72 diplomats are held hostage; six of them manage to escape, while those held hostage are not aware of what the Iran government will do to them. The politics moves are always hard to predict, especially issues involving government. In politics moves are too hard to determine, a lot of things are kept a secret.

          As time goes, the Canadian embassy becomes uncomfortable with the United States citizens who are in their embassy. They are in fear for punishment supposes the Iran government finds out that they are keeping some American citizen who is supposed to be in hostage. The united state department explores the options to remove their four escapees' citizens from Iran. Mendez the operational specialist is consulted, he criticizes all proposals though he has nothing better to offer on the same. Politics is always associated with critics without anything better to offer.    One day as he was watching some film "Battle of the Planet of the Apes" he got inspired to make the escapees escape as Canadian filmmakers.

          Since politics uses the powerful people, Mendez, and his supervisor Jack contacts John a Hollywood artist to contact the film producer Lester to legitimize the plan. At first, he is skeptical but later accepts to draw a plan to develop Argo a science fantasy. The militants, on the other hand, threaten to try and punish the hostages appropriately. Threating as always witnessed in political set up is seen when the hostages are taken in small groups, tied up, blindfolded then fired by unloaded arms, this lead to a cruel hoax. All these were done under the leadership of Ayatollah who took over from Shash. Other opposition members were hanged or shot. This shows no big difference between these two politicians, Shash was an oppressor; Ayatollah is also an oppressor and is killing people. Politics seems to be associated with the death and killing the people who tend to go against the idea of those in power.

          Mendez gets approval from the secretary of state and travels to Iran as the producer for Argo. In Iran, he provides the 6 escapees with fake passports and they manage to leave to Canada even though there was a little tension in the airport. The remaining hostages are saved from retaliation by Canadian government making Iran unhappy. After returning to U.S Mendez is awarded intelligence star and when the election was held in after the hostage crisis began, Ronald Reagan emerged the winner beating Jimmy Carter in land following his good plans for the country.


Works Cited

Pautz, Michelle C. "Argo and Zero Dark Thirty: film, government, and audiences." PS: Political Science & Politics48.1 (2015): 120-128.

September 25, 2023




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