TEHRAN - An adviser to Iran's President yesterday demanded an apology from a team of visiting Hollywood actors and movie industry officials, including Annette Bening, saying films such as 300 and The Wrestler were insulting to Iranians.

Without an apology, members of Iran's film industry should refuse to meet representatives from the nine-member team, said Javad Shamaqdari, the art and cinema adviser to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"In my viewpoint, it is a failure to have an official meeting with one who is insulting," Shamaqdari said.

The film 300 portrays the battle of Thermopylae in 480BC, in which 300 Spartans held off a huge Persian army at a mountain pass in Greece for three days. It angered many Iranians for the way Persians are depicted as decadent, sexually flamboyant and evil in contrast to the noble Greeks.

Iranians also criticised The Wrestler, starring Mickey Rourke as a rundown professional wrestler who is preparing for a rematch with his old nemesis, "The Ayatollah".

During a fight scene, "The Ayatollah" tries to choke Rourke with an Iranian flag before Rourke pulls the flagpole away, breaks it and throws it into the cheering crowd. Neither movie was shown in Iran.

Iranian political analyst Saeed Laylaz downplayed Shamaqdari's comments, saying they were meant for domestic consumption. He pointed out that the visit must have been approved by the Government.

- AP