Iran’s head under fire for ‘hugging’
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/HandoutIranian 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.