The Iranian government has hailed the country's first win at the Oscars, beating four contenders including one from Israel, as a victory over its rival Jewish state.
Domestic drama "A Separation," widely praised as a wonderfully crafted and engaging movie revolving around the life of a middle-class Iranian family and directed by Asghar Farhadi, became the first Iranian film to win the Academy Award for the best foreign language film.
Iranian authorities praised Farhadi's work as as win for the country's culture and a blow to Israel's perceived overrated influence on America, according to an Associated Press report.
In a state-run media broadcast praising the Oscar win, the Iranian government said that the award succeeded in "leaving behind" a film from the "Zionist regime," the Associated Press reported.
Javad Shamaghdari, head of Iran's Cinematic Agency, referred to the Oscar win as the "beginning of the collapse" of Israeli influence that "beats the drum of war" in the U.S.
Unprecedented praise from Iran's Islamic leadership, which classifies entertainment industry as un-Islamic, was welcomed positively by the Iranian filmmakers.
The Jewish media, on the other hand, appeared bitter and heartbroken as the Israeli contender "Footnote," directed by Joseph Cedar, lost its chance to end Israel's dry run at the Academy Awards.
"You say we're sour losers? You bet your poopik we are," an article in Jewish Press said.
"Gold statue in hand, Farhadi dedicated the award to Iranians 'who despise hostility and resentment,' and referred to current tension between Tehran and the West, as the film bested movies from Belgium, Poland, Canada, and, how sweet - Israel," the article, written by veteran journalist Yori Yanover, said.
"Let's face it; Israel just can't bring home the golden boychik. I blame the Jews of Hollywood, whose notion of bon ton always skips the Israeli candidate."
"For crying out loud, we thought for sure 'Waltz with Bashir,' Ari Folman's 2008 animated nominee, with its warrior's angst and perplexing memories of bloodshed and mayhem, would capture that segment of Hollywood that wants to put Israel in its place. Nada. Even 'Ajami,' the 2009 nominee by Palestinian Scandar Copti and Jewish Yaron Shani, about an Arab neighborhood in Jaffa - didn't win," the article said.
Act for Israel, a pro-Israel news Web site, published an article criticizing Iran for touting the Oscar win as a victory over "archenemy" Israel: "What Iran is ignoring as it rejoices in the effervescence of paparazzi and positive media is that international sanctions against it still scream grave disapproval over Iran's nuclear program. Unfortunately, no Oscar win can change the noncompliance, covert actions and dangerous course the Islamic regime has taken."
Due to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's policy to avoid contact with Israelis altogether, moviemakers Cedar and Farhadi shared certain moments of awkwardness during a pre-Oscars symposium organized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The seating arrangement of the directors --in the alphabetical order of their respective film titles -- inadvertently made sure that Cedar and Farhadi wouldn't have to speak to each other.
During the two-hour-long discussion, both directors didn't exchange conversation. However, they were seen politely applauding at each other's remarks, along with others.
The movies which competed for the Academy Awards in the best foreign language film category were "Bullhead" by Belgium's Michael Roskam, "Footnote" by Israel's Joseph Cedar, "In Darkness" by Poland's Agnieszka Holland, "Monsieur Lazhar" by Canada's Philippe Falardeau and "A Separation" by Iran's Asghar Farhadi.