Art and Experience: Iranian acclaimed director Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film Sunday evening local time at the 89th Academy Awards.

Farhadi had not attended the ceremony to claim the Oscar for his film due to boycotting the awards show in protest of Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily banned travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries, including Iran, from entering the United States.

For his part, Iranian NASA scientist Firouz Naderi and the first female space tourist Iranian-born Anousheh Ansari accepted the award on behalf of Farhadi, reading out a statement written by the director.

Farhadi noted that his absence is out of respect to the people of his country who have been ‘disrespected by the inhumane law’ that bans entry of immigrants to the US.

Here’s the full text of Farhadi’s letter:

“It’s a great honor to be receiving this valuable award for the second time. I would like to thank the members of the Academy, my crew in Iran, my producer Alexandre Mallet-Guy, Cohen Media, Amazon and my fellow nominees in the foreign film category. I’m sorry I’m not with you tonight. My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of other six nations whom have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S. Dividing the world into the us and our enemies categories creates fear. A deceitful justification for aggression and war. These wars prevent democracy and human rights in countries which have themselves been victims of aggression. Filmmakers can turn their cameras to capture shared human qualities and break stereotypes of various nationalities and religions. They create empathy between us and others. An empathy which we need today more than ever.”

The Salesman won the Best Actor award, for star Shahab Hosseini, and the Best Screenplay award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016. It also garnered the Satellite Award for Best Foreign Language Film given by the International Press Academy.

The Iranian drama tells the story of Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti), a couple who are part-time actors playing Willy and Linda Loman in a Tehran production of Arthur Miller’s ‘Death of a Salesman’, when an intruder in their new home shakes this marriage to its core.

Farhadi won Iran’s first Oscar for his film A Separation in 2012. This second award puts him in an elite category of double-winners in the category.

Moreover, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif congratulated Farhadi in his twitter, shortly after announcement of the award; “proud of cast and crew of The Salesman for Oscar and stance against #MuslimBan. Iranians have represented culture and civilization for millennia.”