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The Collective
Friday, May 4, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the BBC: Ahmadinejad accused of indecency

Iran’s president has come under fire from a conservative newspaper after he publicly kissed the hand of a woman who used to be his school teacher.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a conservative by the standards of Iranian politics, was attacked by the Hezbollah newspaper for acting “contrary to Sharia law”.

It accused him of “indecency and violating religious values”.

The elderly woman at the centre of the controversy was wearing thick gloves, a headscarf, and a long black coat.

You have to hate it when that happens.

Of course, his radicalism knows no bounds:

He once suggested that women should be allowed to watch football matches. This proved highly controversial and was turned down.

In all seriousness, I have to wonder if criticism in a newspaper is of great domestic significance in Iran or whether it really warrants international coverage. Still, such views do underscore the gap between certain elements in Iran and the West and illustrate why communication is difficult.

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Filed under: Iran | |


  1. Why would criticism in the domestic press not be significant? The press rails at Ahmadinejad all the time, and it’s one of the reasons his political position is so weak, and was weakened further in last December’s elections. Or, more precisely, it is a symptom of his weakness. But its being a symptom doesn’t make it insignificant. The “conservative press” is essentially the mouthpiece of the clerical establishment, which now controls all levers of power other than the presidency.

    Comment by MSS — Friday, May 4, 2007 @ 1:17 pm

  2. Point taken. I was basically wondering out loud if this particular bit of criticism was truly news-worthy.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Friday, May 4, 2007 @ 2:09 pm

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