Iran announced Monday that it would snub the next Academy Awards in protest over an anti-Islam short film mocking the Prophet Mohammed.
Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad Hosseini told Reuters that Iran would boycott the 2013 Oscars “to protest against the making of a film insulting the Prophet and because of the organizers’ failure to take an official position (against the film),” according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency. The minister also urged other Islamic countries to follow suit.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying, “The position that Western politicians have adopted on these great insults are no different from a position of enmity”. Iran officials have demanded the US to apologize to Muslims. Washington said that while it “rejects the views in the video”, right to free speech should not be repressed.
Iran’s film industry was internationally acclaimed after Asghar Farhardi’s “A Separation” won the country’s first Oscars for best foreign language film despite a backdrop of tough censorship in the country. Reuters reported that Iran submitted Reza Mirkarimi’s “A Cube of Sugar” as a dramatic comedy entry for the 2013 foreign-language Oscars.