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September 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Mohammad Hosseini

Iran’s minister of culture has seemingly put an end to discussions about whether the country should boycott next year’s Academy Awards ceremony by stating at the opening of a film festival in Kerman, “I officially announce that we will avoid next year’s Oscars as a serious response to the intolerable insult to the Prophet of Islam.” Referring to the trailer for the anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims, which has sparked violent protests throughout the Middle East, Mohammad Hosseini said, “Since the insulting film has been made by an American in the United States and no comment has been made about the film by the officials of the Academy Awards, we have decided to boycott the event.” His remarks were originally reported by the British trade publication Screen Daily. It is not clear whether anything beyond the crude trailer, which was posted on YouTube, has ever been made. The producer, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, aka Sam Basile, is a Coptic Christian born in Egypt, with a long criminal record. Sketchy reports about him do not mention how he came to settle in America or even whether he was naturalized as an American. Iran was last year’s winner of the best foreign language Oscar, for Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation.