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    An olive branch in the form of a gold statuette

    BRAVO TO James Carroll (“United by ‘A Separation,’ ’’ Op-ed, March 12) for his excellent portrayal of the Oscar-winning Iranian foreign film “A Separation.’’ That Academy Award has the potential to create better understanding between the people of the United States and Iran than anything that has happened in the last 30 years.

    For one, it can help to dispel the continual demonization of Iran in this country and of the United States in Iran. It signaled to the people of Iran and the world that the award is based on artistic achievement, excellence, and the innate fairness of America, and that in no way did the hostility between governments affect that judgment.

    As Iranophobia envelops the United States, it is well for people of good will to see this film, as Carroll suggested. It is about a middle class family like any other, anywhere, sharing the same human condition - trials and tribulations of life that include divorce and obligation to parents and to children, and sharing triumphs and tragedies.


    As the film’s director, Asghar Farhadi, said when he accepted the Oscar, “I proudly offer this award to the people of my country, a people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment.’’

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    Fariborz S. Fatemi

    McLean, Va.

    The writer is a former professional staff member with the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.