The US State Department on February 27 tweeted - then deleted - its congratulations to Iranian director Asghar Farhadi after his film, "The Salesman," won the Oscar for best foreign-language film, according to Reuters.
Farhadi, who, in protest at President Donald Trump's “inhumane” US travel ban in January on citizens of seven mainly Muslim countries, declined to attend the Oscars ceremony, was congratulated on the State Department’s official Persian-language Twitter account, @USAdarFarsi, according to screenshots in circulation. The message also congratulated the Iranian people for the triumph, Farhadi’s second Oscar following his 2012 win for "A Separation".
"A congratulatory tweet was posted," a State Department spokeswoman said, according to the news agency. "We later removed the post to avoid any misperception that the USG [U.S. government] endorsed the comments made in the acceptance speech," she added.
Farhadi sent two Iranian-Americans - a female engineer and a former NASA scientist - to speak for him at the ceremony he boycotted. First female space tourist and engineer Anousheh Ansari read a statement describing the travel ban, which was blocked by US courts, as "inhumane."
"Dividing the world into the 'us' and 'our enemies' categories creates fear, a deceitful justification for aggression and war," Ansari said, reading Farhadi's statement.
“The Salesman” tells the story of a young couple who play the lead roles in a Tehran theatre’s presentation of Arthur Miller's “Death of a Salesman”. Their personal relationship suffers after they move into an apartment previously occupied by a prostitute who hosted clients there.
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