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Iran’s Oscar-winning director boycotts Academy Awards over US Muslim ban

29 January 2017 23:02

 

Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker, Asghar Farhadi says he has decided not to participate in the Oscars ceremony next month in protest at the US President Donald Trump’s executive order to restrict entry into the country from the Islamic Republic and six other Muslim states.

Farhadi, whose film The Salesman is nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign-language movie, said in a statement published by The New York Times on Sunday that he would boycott the ceremony even if he were granted an exception to US President Donald Trump’s controversial decision.

He added that he had planned to attend the ceremony in Los Angeles on February 26 and while there bring attention to a decision he called “unjust.”

“Over the course of the past few days and despite the unjust circumstances which have risen for the immigrants and travelers of several countries to the United States, my decision had remained the same: to attend this ceremony and to express my opinions about these circumstances in the press surrounding the event,” he said.

The prominent director added, “I neither had the intention to not attend nor did I want to boycott the event as a show of objection, for I know that many in the American film industry and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are opposed to the fanaticism and extremism which are today taking place more than ever.”

He noted that the US president’s executive order had given rise to “ifs and buts,” which were in no way acceptable to him even if exceptions were to be made for his trip.

“It now seems that the possibility of this presence is being accompanied by ifs and buts which are in no way acceptable to me even if exceptions were to be made for my trip,” Farhadi said.

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.

Farhadi’s decision came after Iranian actress, Taraneh Alidoosti, who stars in The Salesman, said on Thursday 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.

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