A State Department Twitter account posted then deleted Monday a message congratulating the prominent Iranian director who condemned President Trump’s “inhumane” travel ban on his Oscar win.
The official State Department Persian-language Twitter account, @USAdarFarsi, congratulated Asghar Farhadi for winning best foreign-language film for “The Salesman,” as Reuters first reported.
The tweet was first posted on the account at 1 a.m. ET but later deleted.
"A congratulatory tweet was posted," a State Department spokeswoman told Reuters. "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 department official confirmed that the decision to delete the tweet was made within the State Department.
Farhadi, who boycotted the awards ceremony in protest of Trump's immigration executive order, prepared a statement that was delivered by Anousheh Ansari, the first Iranian in space, and former NASA director for solar system exploration Firouz Naderi, who accepted the Oscar on the director’s behalf.
"I’m sorry I’m not with you tonight. My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of other six nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S,” Farhadi said in the statement.
"Dividing the world into the 'us' and 'our enemies' categories creates fears. A deceitful justification for aggression and war. These wars prevent democracy and human rights in countries, which have themselves been victims of aggression.”