The U.S. State Department on Monday issued and then deleted a congratulatory message for an Oscar win by a prominent Iranian director who criticized President Donald Trump’s travel ban as “inhumane.”
The State Department’s official Persian-language Twitter account, @USAdarFarsi, tweeted congratulations to the Iranian people and Asghar Farhadi, director of “The Salesman,” after the movie won an Oscar for best foreign-language film on Sunday, according to screenshots of the message circulated on Twitter.
Farhadi boycotted the Oscars ceremony to protest Trump’s January executive order that temporarily banned entry to the United States by Iranians and citizens of six other Muslim-majority countries, and issued a statement criticizing the order. The ban was blocked by federal courts, although the administration is working on a new order.
Farhadi chose two Iranian-Americans – a female engineer and a former NASA scientist – to represent him at the ceremony. Anousheh Ansari, an engineer who was the first female space tourist, read a statement on Farhadi’s behalf calling the travel ban “inhumane.”
“Dividing the world into the ‘us’ and ‘our enemies’ categories creates fear, a deceitful justification for aggression and war,” Ansari said, reading from Farhadi’s statement.
According to screenshots circulating on Twitter, the @USAdarFarsi account posted a message around 1 a.m. EST congratulating Farhadi on the award, which was Iran’s second Oscar victory. The tweet was then deleted, although it is unclear exactly when.
“A congratulatory tweet was posted,” a State Department spokeswoman said. “We later removed the post to avoid any misperception that the USG (U.S. government) endorsed the comments made in the acceptance speech.”
A second State Department official said the decision to delete the tweet was made within the department.
The @USAdarFarsi account, which launched in February 2011 and seeks to engage directly with Iranians, had previously tweeted messages about “The Salesman,” including on Jan. 24, when it noted its Academy Award nomination and sent best wishes to Farhadi.
That tweet, which is still online, was published days before Trump issued the travel ban that sparked Farhadi’s protest.
Farhadi also won an Oscar in 2012 in the same category for his film “A Separation.” In his acceptance speech that year, Farhadi referred to tensions at the time between Iran and the United States over Tehran’s nuclear program, and said the Iranian people “despise hostility and resentment.”
(Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Peter Cooney)
As many as 20 corrections officers have been subpoenaed by grand jury investigating Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide
According to sources interviewed by CNN, as many as 20 correctional officers are being called to testify before the grand jury investigating how Jeffrey Epstein was able to kill himself.
It was reported late Wednesday that there were eight officers who knew to watch Epstein while he was housed in the Metropolitan Correctional Center. Epstein had left "suicide watch" after an alleged suicide attempt, and he was supposed to remain under the watchful eye of officers. However, the officers are overworked and the prison understaffed, requiring officers to work several overtime shifts, the officer's union explained.
Vegan parents who severely malnourished 10-month-old daughter to the point of bone loss will avoid jail time
An Australian couple will avoid jail time and instead serve 300 hours of community service after they pled guilty to failing to provide the necessities of life for their 19-month-old daughter, Australian outlet 7News reported this Thursday.
The mother (33) and father (35), who have not been publicly identified for legal reasons, fed their daughter a strict vegan diet that caused the child to become severely malnourished. The child was in such ill health that she weighed just over 10 pounds when authorities discovered her. Additionally, doctors found that due to her strict diet, her bones had not developed properly since she was born and she had yet to grow teeth.
‘All over the map’: CNN details the bizarre surge of Trump’s flip-flops
Following two mass shootings in one weekend, President Donald Trump promised to strengthen background checks for gun purchases. But just the next week--reportedly after speaking with NRA head Wayne LaPierre--dropped his resolve and said there were already sufficient background checks on the books.
That's not the only recent policy flip-flop by the President.
On CNN Thursday, White House reporter Sarah Westwood chronicled all the policies on which the president has reversed course. First, the president abruptly cancelled plans to cut foreign aid.
"President Trump, the White House, they were facing a wave of opposition from Congressional appropriators in both parties and from the State Department who thought that this move could do harm to national security," Westwood said.