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State Department congratulates Asghar Farhadi, then immediately takes it back

(Photo: Getty Images/AFP, Valerie Macon)

During Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony, Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won Best Foreign Language Film for The Salesman, but he didn’t attend the event in person because of Donald Trump’s immigration ban. In his place, Iranian-American space traveler Anousheh Ansari read a statement Farhadi had written beforehand that called for empathy and denounced the desire to divide the world into “us and our enemies” just to create a “justification for aggression and war.”

Shortly after that, the U.S. State Department’s official Farsi-language Twitter account tweeted a message of congratulations to Farhadi and the people of Iran, but some time later the tweet was deleted. According to a statement given to Reuters, the State Department had decided that it wanted to “avoid any misperception that [the government] endorsed the comments made in the acceptance speech.” Supposedly, this decision came from within the department and not from a certain orange-faced politician higher up the food chain, but of course they’d say that.


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