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Ahmadinejad under fire for hugging Chavez's mother

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-03-10

Iran’s religious conservatives have reacted furiously to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hugging the distraught mother of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at his funeral, describing the gesture as “un-Islamic”.

Iran’s religious conservatives have reacted furiously to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hugging the distraught mother of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at his funeral last Friday.

Photos emerged of Ahmadinejad giving the elderly Elena Frias de Chavez a hug at last Friday’s funeral in Caracas, a gesture deemed “un-Islamic” by religious conservatives.

They said that hugging and expressing emotions were “improper for the dignity of the president of a country like the Islamic Republic of Iran."

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.”

Ahmadinejad also managed to anger the conservatives when he announced a day of national mourning following the death of Chavez.

Date created : 2013-03-10

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