An Iranian actress, who stars in the Oscar-nominated film, The Salesman, says she has decided to boycott this year's Academy Awards ceremony in a show of protest against US President Donald Trump’s decision to impose visa bans on Iranians.
On Thursday, Taraneh Alidoosti took to Twitter and Instagram to slam Trump’s planned visa bans, which she described as "racist” and "unacceptable.”
"Trump’s visa ban for Iranians and others is a racist move and unacceptable,” Alidoosti tweeted, adding, "Whether this will include a cultural event or not, I won’t attend the #AcademyAwards 2017 in protest.”
‘The Salesman’ was nominated earlier this week as one of the five contenders that could take home the 89th Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
The movie, which was directed by Oscar-winning director, Asghar Farhadi, took home two awards at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival last May.
The film is about the deteriorating relationship of a couple as they rehearse Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman.
In a tweet late on Tuesday, Trump said he was poised to sign executive orders to ban for several months the entry of refugees into the US.
Another order will block visas being issued to anyone from seven Middle Eastern and North African countries of Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Iran.
Trump, a vocal supporter of the regime in Israel, has adopted harsh rhetoric against Iran. During his election campaign, he vowed to "tear up” or try to renegotiate the landmark nuclear deal inked in 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, including the US.
Trump’s threats come as earlier this month, the European Union, whose foreign policy chief chaired the P5+1 during the negotiations in the run-up to the deal, renewed its support for the accord, viewed as a win for international diplomacy.
If imposed, the visa ban would be the latest in a series of anti-Iran measures taken by the US government in recent months.
Last year, Washington extended sanctions against Iran in what was viewed as a breach of the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
On December 1, 2016, the US Senate voted 99-0 to extend the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for a decade after it cleared the House of Representatives 419-1 in late November.
The House of Representatives voted to reauthorize ISA, which was first introduced in 1996 to punish investments in Iran's energy industry based on accusations that Tehran was pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
The administration of former US President Barack Obama had expressed reservations about the utility of the legislation, but congressional aides said they expected Obama
would sign it when it reached his desk. The act was set to expire at the end of 2016.
Obama had declined to sign a bill renewing existing sanctions against Iran, but allowed the legislation to become law, in an apparent effort to alleviate the Islamic Republic’s concerns that Washington is backtracking on the nuclear agreement.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, a hawkish Republican from Tennessee, said at that time that the extension of ISA ensures President-elect Donald Trump can reimpose sanctions Obama lifted under the nuclear agreement.
"Extending the Iran Sanctions Act ... ensures President-elect Trump and his administration have the tools necessary to push back” against Iran’s "hostile actions,” he said in a statement.
Iran has warned that the renewal of sanctions will be a violation of commitments under the JCPOA, and has threatened reprisal if the US extends the longstanding act.