America don't you think you are exagerating?

One of the leading directors in the world Abbas Kiarostami from Iran was denied an entry visa to the U.S.A. He had been invited to receive a prize for his latest movie.
Worst happen to Jafar Panahi winner of the Golden Lion 2000 he was arrested and later expelled from America, in his case he was about to receive the “Freedom of expression” prize. Don’t you think that perhaps this all axis of evil thing has gone to far?
Jack Lang, from Le Monde, siad “A sad story that shows intelectual isolation and ignorance that border lack of respect for other cultures”. I agree it is sad.
(In spanish)

I am not sure this is a great debate. But my opinion is that things have gone to far.

yes I think so.

The problem is that USA and CIA still are suffering for being kicked out of Iran in 1979.

feelings are hurt

Here is a English version of the story.

What exactly is America “exaggerating”? He was not denied a visa, he simply didn’t follow the rules. He didn’t even apply himself as is required.

Just bureaucrats following the rules. Should the consulate have bent the rules? I don’t know, but it hardly sounds like the crime of the century.

Aw, don’t let the facts get in the face of a good whine. It’s the propoganda and who it stirs that counts now.

Well rsa not according to my link and since you didn’t provide one of your own…
And what about Mr. Panahi? Did he also break any law aside from being of arab origin?

And also I never cese to be impress by people like you duckster that makes an accusation (propaganda) with out a single bit of evidence. I started this thread with good faith because I was outraged by what I read in this morning news. I can guarantee you that “La Nacion” is not anti-american. On the contrary I can’t say the same about “Le Monde”… never read it.

Estilicon, go back and read rsa’s post. His first sentence is a link to an Iranian-supportive, U.S.-bashing web site. They decry what happened, but they clearly quote the U.S. officials explaining the procedure and how it was not followed.

I have no idea what happened with Mr. Panahi and you have not provided any information, either.

It is certainly true that recent Republican administrations seem to be pretty quick to keep out people with whom they disagree, politically, but without some actual facts (as those that support rsa’s conclusion), it is silly to whine on about how terrible “America” is.

tomndebb My mistake… and yours. I did provide information of Mr. Panahi. it’s in the same link. Sorry rsa

The link only states the fact that Panahi was arrested and then sent home. I saw no information regarding the (claimed) cause for that arrest or the reason given for his expulsion.

It could have been Right-wing fear of his voice, actual involvement in espionage, or another bureaucratic situation. So, we still do not know what “really” happened in the case of Mr. Panahi.

Looks like the Fins have been “exagerating” too.

But, Mr. Kiarostami knows how to get to the US,
he has been here before.

Looks to me like someone thought they didn’t have to follow the rules this time.

Estilicon, there’s not enough information here for anyone to tell what happened. I read both links, and it sounds like Mr. Kiarostami didn’t allow enough time for visa and security processing and/or didn’t make himself available for an interview, not that he was denied the visa completely and/or forever.

I handle U.S. immigration matters for a living (although IANAL), and if you can provide some more detail about whatever Mr. Kiarostami did or didn’t do in his attempts to get a visa, I might be able to provide some more insight. I certainly agree that U.S immigration has become even more of a nightmare than it was previously; it’s made my job a living hell, and the lives of many of my clients rather Kafkaesque.

However, in practical terms it means that if you want a visa to the U.S., you have to jump through more hoops, including security clearances, and that it takes ridiculous amounts of time to jump through the hoops, so everyone has to be organized and plan ahead.

I think the gist of the issue is why an internationally acclaimed film-maker has to go through the same long-winded procedure as everyone else. Undemocratic, yes. But, hasn’t allowing certain people (such as famous international artists or politicians) relatively easier and faster mobility across countries usually been followed as a policy?

Famous to who?

This isn’t George Lucas or Ridley Scott we are talking about; It is some obscure (to the overwhelming majority of Americans) fellow from a country with a less then stellar history with the US.

If you can show me one iota of proof that ‘famous’ foreigners do not have to follow proper entry procedures, then you may have a case.

But judging by RSA’s link, this entire incident is entirely the fault of the director, and nobody else.

No. Usually, if they’re going to attend some nice event, they’ll have planned ahead of time. You just never have paparazzi bothering to take photos of them waiting in line.

Famous people need visas just like everyone else, and are NOT given any preference in terms of jumping the processing queue. My office has done visa petitions for all kinds of famous people, including actors and directors whose names would be MUCH more familiar to the average American than Mr. Kiarostami’s is. They apparently just have people who know that especially in this day and age, they need to plan ahead.

Whenever I apply for a visa or passport or drivers license, or go to the bank or grocery store or anything else for that matter, I generally go to the ‘Famous Person’ line because it’s a lot shorter.

The unwarranted sarcasm and erroneous analogies aside (I was just enquiring by the way), the reason I brought this up as a possibility is this: This is not necessarily about who is famous inside the US to Americans. This is about exchange of artists who are pretty much considered legends or icons or even cultural “ambassadors” internationally. (Brutus: if you followed International cinema, you will know). I thought that a relatively speedier visa process might be unofficially sanctioned at the highest governmental levels. But, Eva clarified that it is a single queue. Great. Besides, as someone pointed out one shouldn’t expect Iran and US to have such a diplomatic relation anyway!

"America don’t you think you are exagerating? "

For clearifacational purposes, just because some government official makes a bad call or over reacts to something, doesn’t mean that all of America is over reacting or exagerating. Although, you seemed to have posed the question that way. :wink:

Just wanted to point out that Jack Lang isn’t a journalist but a major french politician (socialist) with an exceptionnally strong interest in cultural issues and arts.

So, that would be a piece of opinion, not an article.

“Jafar Panahi…was arrested and later expelled from America…”

He was detained for 10 hours en route to Montevideo/Hong Kong for failing to present a transit visa, because he was (incorrectly) told he did not need one by the airline.

Please explain how either of these cases displays “ignorance that borders on lack of respect for other cultures” other than on the part of the traveller?