Tweet and delete: US officials erase their praise for Iranian Oscar winner

The Guardian- The US state department has tweeted and then deleted a congratulatory message for an Oscar win by a prominent Iranian director who criticized President Donald Trump’s travel ban as “inhumane”.

The state department’s official Persian-language Twitter account, @USAdarFarsi, tweeted congratulations to the Iranian people and Asghar Farhadi, director of The Salesman, after the movie won an Oscar for best foreign-language film on Sunday, according to screenshots of the message circulated on Twitter.

Farhadi boycotted the Oscars ceremony and issued a statement criticising Trump’s January executive order that temporarily banned entry to the United States by Iranians and citizens of six other Muslim-majority countries. The ban was blocked by federal courts, although the administration has said it is working on a new order.

Farhadi chose two Iranian-Americans – a female engineer and a former Nasa scientist – to represent him at the ceremony. Anousheh Ansari, an engineer who was the first female space tourist, read a statement on Farhadi’s behalf calling the travel ban “inhumane”.

“Dividing the world into the ‘us’ and ‘our enemies’ categories creates fear, a deceitful justification for aggression and war,” Ansari said, reading from Farhadi’s statement.


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