That perception was re-enforced by the surprise presenter of the award, Michelle Obama. Fars News, Iran’s main hardline outlet, wasted no time in questioning her role, writing, “In a rare occasion in Oscar history, the First Lady announced the winner for Best Picture for the anti-Iran Film ‘Argo,’ which is produced by the Zionist company Warner Bros.”

Others criticized the way Affleck referred to Islamic Republic in his acceptance speech when he said, “I want to thank our friends in Iran who live under terrible circumstances.” Mehr News ran this headline: “After distorting history, Ben Affleck continues to show a bleak picture of Iran: Iranians live in terrible circumstances.”