- Associated Press - Sunday, February 26, 2012

TEHRAN, IRAN (AP) - Followers of Iranian state TV say the Academy Award-winning film “A Separation” shows the world-class talent and sophistication in the Islamic Republic even as it confronts the West over its nuclear program.

Comments and Twitter messages posted on Press TV’s website moments after director Asghar Farhadi’s tale of domestic turmoil won the foreign language film Oscar express hope that it could help show the common ground between the U.S. and Iran. Others say early Monday that the film could help strengthen appeals for peace.

Iran has a long tradition of cultural achievements in cinema, literature and the arts. But clampdowns by hard-liners in recent years have included artists and others, forcing some to flee the country or work underground.

“A Separation” is the first Oscar for an Iranian film. In 1997, the Iranian movie “Children of Heaven” was nominated.

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