Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticised for hugging mother of Hugo Chavez

There is a tremendous amount of controversy regarding this little news story (posted below).  Some Iranians are convinced that it was photoshopped in order to embarrass Ahmadinejad. I do not think it was altered whatsoever. Others have rightly criticized him for expressing such emotions in ’13 when he condemned those dying on the streets in ’09. The conservative clerics in Iran have exploited this image in order to condemn Ahmadinejad.  What petty politics. The Telegraph – The Iranian president’s domestic opponents reacted furiously after photos emerged of him giving Elena Frias de Chavez, 78, a consoling hug at last Friday’s funeral in Caracas – at which he also kissed Mr Chavez’s coffin.

Religious conservatives said the act insulted Iran’s religious dignity and amounted to “haram” – a term used to describe a religiously forbidden act under Islamic rules.

Mohammad Taghi Rahbar, the Friday prayer leader of Iran’s second city, Isfahan, told Mehr news agency that Mr Ahmadinejad had “lost control”.

He added: “Shaking hands with a non-mahram (unrelated by family) woman, under any circumstances, whether young or old, is not allowed. Hugging or expressing emotions is improper for the dignity of the president of a country like the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

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