Did the U.S. Government Delete a Congratulatory Tweet for an Iranian Oscar Winner? Why?

By Natalie Anderson / 2017.02.28
The image features Filmmaker Asghar Farhadi as he holds the “84th Annual Academy Awards” Best Foreign Film Award for “A Separation”.

The U.S. State Department congratulated via Twitter the Iranian director, Asghar Farhadi for their movie "The Salesman" that has won in the "Oscars" Best Foreign Language category. They used their official Persian language Twitter account @USAdarFarsi. The tweet was originally posted at 1 A.M. ET. However, The U.S. State Department immediately deleted the said tweet.

The Iranian director did not attend the "Oscars" because, according to Deadline, he is protesting against U.S. President Donald Trump's ban against citizens from Muslim countries. The U.S. State Department spokesperson said that they deleted the tweet because if they retain it, it just means that they agree to the pronouncements the Iranian director made, The Telegraph reported. The other U.S. State Department officer said that it was an internal decision within the department.

On January 24, 2017, The U.S. State Department had congratulated the Iranian director and their movie for being nominated for the "Oscars". It is still on their Twitter page and has not been taken down.

Farhadi has asked two people to represent him in the "Oscars". They are Iranian-American engineer Anousheh Ansari and former NASA scientist Firouz Naderi. Ansari and Naderi accepted the award for him and they carried the message from Farhadi.

The message he left is this: "My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of other six nations whom have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S.," read Ansari. "Dividing the world into the 'us' and 'our enemies' categories creates fear, a deceitful justification for aggression and war. These wars prevent democracy and human rights in countries which themselves have been victims of aggression. Filmmakers can turn their cameras to capture shared human qualities and break stereotypes of various nationalities and religions. They create empathy between us and others; an empathy which we need today more than ever."

The countries that are temporarily banned by Trump are Syria, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Sudan, and Yemen. This does not apply to Visa holders. The U.S. federal court however has not yet implemented the ban.

Watch the Oscars' trophy award acceptance speech below:

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