Iranian-American space experts to step in for Farhadi at Oscars

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi has chosen an Iranian-American female engineer and a former NASA scientist to represent his film "The Salesman" at Sunday's Oscar ceremony, which he is boycotting in protest over U.S. President Donald Trump's crackdown on immigration, Reuters reported.

Farhadi, who has given no interviews since Trump in January banned travel from seven majority Muslim nations, planned to address a rally in Beverly Hills on Friday via video from Tehran, rally organizers said.

The rally, organized by the United Talent Agency, which represents Farhadi in Hollywood, is being held instead of the agency's traditional pre-Oscar party.

In a statement to Hollywood trade publication Variety on Friday, Farhadi's publicist said that engineer Anousheh Ansari, who was the first female space tourist, and Firouz Naderi, a former director of NASA's Solar System Exploration program, would take Farhadi's place at the Oscars and represent him on stage should the film win.

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