- Associated Press - Monday, March 12, 2012

TEHRAN, IRAN (AP) - A semiofficial Iranian news agency reports that a ceremony in honor of Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi has been canceled after failing to receive official permission.

The Monday report by Ilna says two Iranian cinema groups issued a statement saying “cultural custodians” did not allow the ceremony to be held.

The report says officials apparently did not issue a permit for the event. It did not elaborate.

Iranian officials have praised Farhadi whose movie, “A Separation,” won the Oscar for best foreign film last month.

But some conservatives were upset with the film’s themes: domestic turmoil, gender inequality and the desire by many Iranians to leave the country.

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