Art and Experience: Iranian director Asghar Farhadi has said that he cannot feel happy over winning a nomination for his acclaimed drama “The Salesman” at the Academy Awards while his country is drowning in grief over the death of a number of Iranian firefighters in Tehran’s Plasco Building collapse.

“I wish I had heard this good news when the Iranian people were not drowning in the sorrow over the terrible tragedy of the Plasco Building collapse and the death of some Iranian people along with a number of our brave firefighters,” Farhadi said in statement published by the Persian service of ISNA on Wednesday.

Dozens of firefighters and people were killed when the 17-storey commercial center collapsed after a raging inferno last Thursday.

The 89th Academy Awards announced the nominees on Tuesday and “The Salesman” was among the five nominees for an Oscar in the best foreign language film category.

“This a great honor that I see Iran among the countries that made the best foreign language films,” Farhadi said.

“I express my congratulations to all my colleagues in this movie,” he added while commemorating Yadollah Najafi, the sound engineer of the project who died last January.

“Land of Mine” from Denmark, “A Man Called Ove” from Sweden, “Tanna” from Australia, and “Toni Erdmann” from Germany are other contenders for an Oscar in the best foreign language film category.

The 89th Academy Awards will announce the winners in the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26.