Asghar Farhadi at the 2012 Academy Awards. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)
Iran is boycotting the Oscars.
Although writer-director Asghar Farhadi's acclaimed family drama "A Separation" was named best foreign-language film at February's Academy Awards ceremony, Iranian officials have opted out of the upcoming Oscar contest.
The move comes as a protest against the recent anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims," which has sparked violence throughout the Middle East.
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In a statement reported by the Iranian Students' News Agency, Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad Hosseini said the Academy Awards boycott is "to protest against the making of a film insulting the Prophet [Muhammad] and because of the organisers' failure to take an official position [against the film]." He called on other Muslim countries to boycott the Oscars as well.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had no comment on the matter. The official deadline for foreign-language submissions is Oct. 1.
Prior to the boycott, Iran had selected Reza Mirkarimi's family drama "A Cube of Sugar" as the country's Academy Awards submission.
Iran has submitted a film for Oscar consideration every year dating back to 1997.
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