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MIDEAST > Iran’s head under fire for ‘hugging’

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Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (R) offers his condolences to Elena Frias, mother of Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez, during the funeral service at the Military Academy in Caracas March 8, 2013, in this picture provided by the Miraflores Palace. Chavez will be embalmed and put on display "for eternity" at a military museum after a state funeral and an extended period of lying in state, acting President Nicolas Maduro said on March 7. REUTERS/Miraflores Palace/Handout

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (R) offers his condolences to Elena Frias, mother of Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez, during the funeral service at the Military Academy in Caracas March 8, 2013, in this picture provided by the Miraflores Palace. Chavez will be embalmed and put on display "for eternity" at a military museum after a state funeral and an extended period of lying in state, acting President Nicolas Maduro said on March 7. REUTERS/Miraflores Palace/Handout

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad is in trouble for embracing the mother of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who died last week. 

Ahmadinejad has come under criticism over a picture that shows him holding the hands of Elena Frias, Chavez’s mother, and comforting her during the March 8 funeral in Caracas. In the picture Frias is seen leaning on Ahmadinejad while they hold hands and appear to be crying. According to Islamic rules applied in Iran, unrelated men and women are not allowed to touch. Iranian officials and diplomats often bow instead of shaking hands with female foreign officials. Several conservative lawmakers have said that he violated Islamic norms, Radio Free Europe website reported.

Meanwhile, the condemnation of the condolence message Ahmadinejad for the death of Chavez continues. In the message, Ahmadinejad said he was certain that Chavez “will return” along with Jesus Christ and Imam Mahdi, who according to Shi’ite beliefs will reappear one day to bring justice to the world.

March/11/2013

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READER COMMENTS

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mara mcglothin

3/11/2013 4:12:48 PM

Just FYI Is it just me?? This is not a hug, but it should have been had he been sincere.

Thessalonian

3/11/2013 3:00:41 PM

Following one of his most absurd comments ever about "Chavez and Jesus coming back together" it is rather refreshing to see Mr. Ahmadinejad express the human quality of compassion contrary to the all dominating ayatollah islamofascist mentality. Regards

Ken Alden

3/11/2013 1:36:44 PM

This is absurdety, driven to new heights, my suggestion is for Mr. Ahmednejdad to wear a Purdah, next time he travels abroad, or maybe even those Horseblinders!

young genius

3/11/2013 10:07:52 AM

Okay I think I exaggerated a bit when I wrote "Following Islamic laws isn't even part of Iranian culture!".

Richard Wyatt

3/11/2013 8:51:54 AM

At a time of shared grief those ridiculous religious rules are momentarily forgotten. However, there is no excuse for Ahmadinejad who would never allow his own subjects to escape unpunished for this heinous violation. He shall be sentenced to fifty lashes in the main stadium of Tehran.

young genius

3/11/2013 2:30:22 AM

Iranians only follow Islamic laws in Iran. Following Islamic laws isn't even part of Iranian culture! It's been implemented because of the religious authoritarian government. This shows humanity. It gives a positive outlook to Ahmadinejad. It shows that he is human too.
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