February 27, 2017 / 10:56 AM / 6 months ago

Iran praises Oscar-winning director for anti-Trump stance

Director Asghar Farhadi, Best screenplay award winner for his film "Forushande" (The Salesman), poses during a photocall after the closing ceremony at the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 22, 2016.Regis Duvignau

DUBAI (Reuters) - The Iranian government praised the makers of Oscar-winning movie "The Salesman" on Monday for boycotting the Hollywood awards ceremony in protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban on Iranians and people from six other countries.

"Proud of cast and crew of The Salesman for Oscar and stance against Muslim Ban," Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted. "Iranians have represented culture and civilization for millennia."

It was the second Oscar for director Asghar Farhadi, five years after he won for "A Separation".

Although U.S. courts suspended Trump's ban on people entering the United States from seven majority Muslim nations, Farhadi said he would not attend the Oscars, to make a political point against what he called the "oppressive travel ban".

Iran's culture minister, Reza Salehi Amiri, praised Farhadi for standing against "narrow-minded and racist policies of novice American politicians," ISNA news agency reported.

Despite rigorous censorship by Iranian authorities, Iran's filmmakers have a strong reputation for thoughtful, character-driven movies that are often feted at international festivals.

Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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