How Iran’s hard-line media reacted to Oscar win

Al-Monitor|Rohollah Faghihi: On Feb. 27, around six in the morning, many Iranians were awake waiting to see if Iran would win its second Oscar. Finally, it was announced. Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman” won the Best Foreign Language Film award. Social networks burst into happiness, and Iranians celebrated this event as once again Iran’s culture became global.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was the first to congratulate Farhadi and the Iranian nation on this success. Various figures, including politicians, athletes and artists, published congratulatory messages on their personal social network pages. While everyone was happy, Iran’s state TV, managed by hard-liners, was struggling with how to cover this piece of news, as the outfit worn by Anousheh Ansari, who accepted the Oscar on behalf of Farhadi, wasn’t appropriate in their eyes. Finally, after a few hours, state TV ran a story about Farhadi’s triumph without showing a picture of Ansari or the Oscar ceremony.

Ansari, famed for being the first female space tourist, and Firouz Naderi, a former director of Solar Systems Exploration at NASA, were Farhadi’s representatives at this year’s Academy Awards.

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