Mon Feb 27, 2017 6:52PM
The file photo shows Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker, Asghar Farhadi, standing beside a poster of his drama, The Salesman.
The file photo shows Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker, Asghar Farhadi, standing beside a poster of his drama, The Salesman.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman has commended the Iranian prominent filmmaker, Asghar Farhadi, and the cast and crew of his film ‘The Salesman’ for winning the 2017 Academy Award for the Best Foreign-Language Film.

“Once again, the great Iranian nation and society have witnessed the success of the ambassadors of Iranian art in international art communities in conveying to the world the voice of the noble Iranian people, which is the voice of culture, civilization, peace and national dignity and pride,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Monday.

He added that artists have a great responsibility to strengthen friendship and unity among nations at the current juncture.

It is very pleasing to see the proficient and diligent Iranian director once again manage to deliver the Iranian nation’s message of peace and friendship to the entire world through the means of art, the spokesperson said.

The Salesman won the Oscars on Sunday for best foreign-language film; however, Farhadi had boycotted the gala over US President Donald Trump's executive order banning arrivals into the US from seven Muslim countries.

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The award was accepted by two prominent Iranian-Americans representing the Iranian director. Anousheh Ansari, famed for being the first female space tourist, and Firouz Naderi, a former director of Solar Systems Exploration at NASA.

Qassemi also hailed the “brave” decision made by Farhadi and the movie’s star actress, Taraneh Alidoosti, to boycott the Oscars ceremony “ in respect for the wise people of Iran and six other countries who were disrespected by the political and inhuman travel ban order.”  

It showed that the voice of moderation and peace-seeking continues to reverberate throughout the world despite the conduct of all extremists and unilateralists, the spokesman emphasized.

Speaking while receiving the award, Ansari read a message on behalf of The Salesman’s director.

Former NASA scientist Firouz Naderi (L) and engineer/astronaut Anousheh Ansari pose with the Best Foreign Language Film award for 'The Salesman' on behalf of director Asghar Farhadi in the press room during the 89th Oscars on February 26, 2017, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by AFP)

"My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of other six nations whom have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the US," the space tourist said. "Dividing the world into the 'us' and 'our enemies' categories creates fear, a deceitful justification for aggression and war."

The Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker announced in January that he has decided not to participate in the Oscars ceremony in protest at the US president’s executive order.

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Trump’s executive order, issued on January 27, blocked entry into the United States for 90 days for citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. It also suspended entry of all refugees for 120 days and barred Syrian refugees indefinitely.

US District Judge James Robart in Seattle, Washington, suspended the order nationwide on February 4 after his state challenged its legality. A three-judge panel in the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Robart's ruling.

The White House has vowed to issue a revised travel ban which would still target the same seven Muslim countries.

Farhadi's decision came after the Iranian actress Alidoosti said on January 26 that she had made up her mind to boycott this year's Academy Awards ceremony in a show of protest against the US president’s decision to impose visa bans on Iranians.

Farhadi's The Salesman took home two awards at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival last May.

The Salesman was also nominated for a Golden Globe and a Critics' Choice Award among several other nationwide and universal recognitions.

Back in 2012, Farhadi won Iran its first-ever Academy Award with domestic drama A Separation.