Oscar 2017: Asghar Farhadi, Director of Oscar Nominee The Salesman Will Not Attend the Ceremony

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, whose film The Salesman is nominated for the best foreign-language-film Oscar, is saying he will not attend the Oscars even if exceptions are made to allow him entry to the U.S.

“I regret to announce via this statement that I have decided to not attend the Academy Awards Ceremony alongside my fellow members of the cinematic community,” read his statement, which was first published in the New York Times.

While he had originally considered attending, “The possibility of this presence is being accompanied by ifs and buts which are in no way acceptable to me even if exceptions were to be made for my trip,” the director said.

“To humiliate one nation with the pretext of guarding the security of another is not a new phenomenon in history and has always laid the groundwork for the creation of future divide and enmity. I hereby express my condemnation of the unjust conditions forced upon some of my compatriots and the citizens of the other six countries trying to legally enter the United States of America and hope that the current situation will not give rise to further divide between nations,” his statement, signed Asghar Farhadi, Iran, concluded.

In the initial portion of his statement Farhadi underlined that in the past few days “despite the unjust circumstances which have risen for the immigrants and travelers of several countries to the United States,” his “decision had remained the same: to attend this ceremony and to express my opinions about these circumstances in the press surrounding the event.”

Farhadi said he “neither had the intention to not attend nor did I want to boycott the event as a show of objection, for I know that many in the American film industry and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are opposed to the fanaticism and extremism which are today taking place more than ever.”

An Academy spokesperson issued a statement Saturday describing as “extremely troubling” the prospect that Farhadi, along with the cast and crew of  “The Salesman,” “could be barred from entering the country because of their religion or country of origin.”

“Just as I had stated to my distributor in the United States on the day the nominees were announced, that I would be attending this ceremony along with my cinematographer, I continued to believe that I would be present at this great cultural event,” Farhadi said.