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Rediff.com  » News » Iran Prez gets 'cheeky' with Chavez's mom, clerics fume

Iran Prez gets 'cheeky' with Chavez's mom, clerics fume

Last updated on: March 12, 2013 12:01 IST

Iran Prez gets 'cheeky' with Chavez's mom

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Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been criticised by Iranian religious and political groups after a picture from the funeral for Hugo Chavez showed him getting up, close and personal with the mother of the late Venezuelan president.
 
The loose, hand-holding, cheek-to-cheek embrace with a sobbing Elena Frias is not scandalous, but Iranian religious and political groups condemned it, as the Islamic law forbids unrelated men and women from touching, Al-Monitor reports.

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Image: Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad offers his condolences to Elena Frias, mother of Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez, during the funeral service at the Military Academy in Caracas
Photographs: Reuters
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Iran Prez gets 'cheeky' with Chavez's mom

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Hojat al-Islam Hossein Ibrahimi, a member of the Society of Militant Clergy of Tehran, said that "no unrelated women can be touched unless she is drowning at sea or needs (medical) treatment".
 
The online English-language news source reported that others said the embrace was "far from the status of a Muslim," the New York Daily News reported.

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Image: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pays tribute to Hugo Chavez
Photographs: Reuters
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Iran Prez gets 'cheeky' with Chavez's mom

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According to the paper, Seyyed Mohammad Pourfatemi, a conservative member of the country's parliament, called on clerics to "confront seriously and condemn the President's latest actions and not allow him to do whatever he pleases when it comes to infringing Islamic laws."
 
The picture went viral on social media sites, with many users joking about the shot, the website reported.

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Image: Supporters of Hugo Chavez watch a screen as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad walks past Chavez's coffin during the funeral ceremony
Photographs: Reuters
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