It's the first time an Iranian film has taken the honor. The only other Iranian movie nominated was 1997's Children of Heaven, which was defeated by Italy's "Life Is Beautiful."
The widely-hailed A Separation, directed by Asghar Farhadi, also won the best foreign film at the Golden Globes. Farhadi was nominated for a best screenplay Oscar.
Joseph Cedar's Talmudic scholar saga "Footnote" from Israel; and Agnieszka Holland's World War II drama "In Darkness" from Poland.