July 5, 2007–Michael Moore has turned down an invitation to visit the Iran Intl. Documentary Festival, which runs Oct. 15-19 in Tehran. Moore's “Sicko” had been selected as part of the competition for the inaugural event, which is organized by Iran's Documentary and Experimental Film Center, and festival officials had sent out letters of invitation to Moore and his producers.
“His film is selected for the international competition section and, according to the rules, we invite the director or producer from every film,” said Shirin Naderi, DEFC's head of international business. “We have sent the invitation to him but until now we haven't received any confirmation on whether he's coming or not.”
Although rumors spread over the Internet that Moore had accepted the invitation, “Sicko” producer Meghan O'Hara dismissed them. “There is absolutely no truth to the right-wing promoted rumor that Michael is going to Iran,” commented O'Hara in a statement posted on Moore's website.
“This inaccurate rumor is an urban myth right up there with alligators in the sewers of New York City, and it is getting pushed around out there by conservative opponents of Michael who would rather make up stories out of whole cloth than actually engage in a debate on the merits of our broken health care system or why it is that George W. Bush took us to war in Iraq.”