Assange savages WikiLeaks film

JULIAN DRAPE
Last updated 05:00 25/01/2013
The Fifth Estate

PROPAGANDA TOOL: Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel BrĂ¼hl in The Fifth Estate.

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says a film about his whistle-blowing website is propaganda designed to fan the flames of a war against Iran.

The Fifth Estate, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, is due to be released in November.

Assange on Wednesday night said WikiLeaks had managed to get hold of a copy of the script of the DreamWorks movie.

And he doesn't like what he's read.

"It is a mass propaganda attack against WikiLeaks the organisation," the 41-year-old Australian told students in Oxford via a video-link from the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

"But it is not just an attack against us - it is an attack against Iran.

"It fans the flames to start a war with Iran."

Assange said the opening scene was set in a military complex in Tehran and showed Iran was working on an atomic weapon.

"How does this have anything to do with us?" he said.

A subsequent scene in Cairo showed an Iranian nuclear scientist talking with a United States CIA agent.

The scientist says Iran is testing the explosive in the next six months.

But Assange said in actual fact, the US's own intelligence agencies had confirmed Iran didn't have a nuclear weapons program.

"It's a lie upon a lie - a great big-budget thing that's going to be pushed out in November."

The WikiLeaks founder said "corrupt media and corrupt culture" were engaged in a war alongside intelligence agencies.

He said the institutions that formed the "big media machine" were too close to the table of power they were meant to be reporting on.

"Everything we see, read and hear is produced for a purpose."

The Australian said the film slandered an entire nation and "beat the drums of war".

The first pictures of Cumberbatch playing Mr Assange on set were released by DreamWorks Studios this week.

Assange was addressing the Oxford Union's annual Sam Adams Awards, which recognises courageous whistleblowers. He's a previous winner.

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- AAP

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