Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Persian Letters

Iran’s Hard-Line News Agency Tries To 'Nuclearize' Farhadi’s Oscar Speech

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi: "I proudly offer this award to the people of my country."
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi: "I proudly offer this award to the people of my country."
When Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's "A Separation" won the Oscar for best foreign-language film at the Academy Awards on February 26, he said the following in his acceptance speech, according to Iran’s hard-line Fars news agency:

"I proudly offer this award to the people of my country who, despite all the tensions and hostility of recent months between Iran and the West over Iran’s nuclear program, respect all cultures and civilizations."

In fact, Farhadi never mentioned Iran’s nuclear program in his speech. This is what he actually said:

“At this time, many Iranians all over the world are watching us, and I imagine them to be very happy. They are happy not just because of an important award, or a film, or a filmmaker, but because -- at a time of tug of war, intimidation and aggressions exchanged between politicians -- the name of their county, Iran, is spoken here through her glorious culture, a rich and ancient culture that has been hidden under the heavy dust of politics.

"I proudly offer this award to the people of my country, the people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment. Thank you so much."

Fars news agency, which is said to be affiliated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), was apparently not happy with Farhadi’s eloquent speech, which rose above politics. So the news agency -- which some Iranians refer to as “False News” -- added its own nuclear flavor to the speech.

But after a backlash on social-media sites, Fars replaced the story with a different version that did not include a reference to the country's nuclear program.

Quick-thinking bloggers, however, saved a screenshot of the original story.

The fabrication by Fars was in keeping with the pro-nuclear, anti-Western position of the Iranian establishment, which claims that its nuclear program is the most important issue for the Iranian people.

But Farhadi, for one, didn't use his brief moment in the global spotlight – an estimated 1.2 billion people watch the annual awards show on television -- to back that claim up.

And at a press conference after the awards ceremony, when he was asked about the tension between Iran and the United States, he again said that his work occupies a realm outside of politics.

“What you refer to is what is happening between the governments and I don’t have any message for the governments, because I believe that this film is communicating with the people," he said. "I don’t think that politicians are really into cinema [or] understand its message."

-- Golnaz Esfandiari
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Bijan from: Tampa
February 27, 2012 19:18
Great work Mr. Farhadi.. I'd like to invite the world to learn more about Iran, the country and the glorious culture that as Mr Farhadi stated has been hidden under the heavy dust of politics.You may visit http://www.viewiran.com to learn more.
In Response

by: FTC from: Fairfax, VA, US
February 28, 2012 03:21
By declaring that the Iranian people "respect all cultures and civilizations," the movie director repudiated the Iranian government's statement that Israel should be wiped off the map.

I fear for his safety.

by: MrZand from: Virginia
February 28, 2012 15:29
I hope our Farsi speaking audience listen to the following call that Masih Alinejad, an Iranian journalist in London, placed to the news agency in Tehran to verify Fars News Agebcy's sources for the 'nuclearization' of the story.
http://soundcloud.com/frl-journalist/fars250212

by: Ali from: Tehran
February 28, 2012 16:09
Thank you for shedding light on the regime's propaganda.

by: Jalmer from: USA
February 29, 2012 03:36
There are the authoritarians everywhere whom will only do what they can get away with, If were not for the free press, society would soon follow suit and act upon the impulse of logic, and ignore the merits of truth!

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.

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Seen anything in the Iranian blogosphere that you think Persian Letters should cover? If so, contact Golnaz Esfandiari at esfandiarig@rferl.org