Life is very difficult for former Iranian “reformist” president Mohammad Khatami (1997-2005) these days. As the video below (after the break) depicts, he shook
Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami (left hand unaccounted for)
hands with women on a recent trip to Italy–and is now facing trial following condemnation by Iranian conservatives. Ultra-conservatives a protest in the city of Mashhad and delivered a formal complaint, along with copies of the below film, to a special clerical court calling for Khatami to be put on trial. Placards carried by the crowd read, among other choice phrases, “Death to the Clerics’ Foe.” A second lawsuit has also been filed against Khatami by the Hezbollah militia for the handshakes.
Khatami’s Suspect Handshakes with Gianola and Cristina Nonnino, Italian grappa producers, in the Italian city of Udine during May 07
In a statement to the press distributed Wednesday, the clerics asked for a conviction based on Khatami’s shaking of “impure hands, contradicting the sacred principles of Islam.” The clerics’ statement compared Khatami to a “political prostitute.”
Despite the apparent proof in the pudding, Khatami’s office released the following statement, reported by ISNA and the Ham Mihan newspaper:
Khatami officially denied that he had shook hands with any woman and the film circulating is not based on reality . . . This film circulating on some conservative websites which shows him shaking hand [sic] with some Italian women is a version that has been edited and Khatami wholly denies this.
Khatami’s Baran foundation also indicated that Khatami might have shaken hands with people in the crowd he had not realized were female.
Iranian Sharia law forbids men to have any physical contact with women not related to them by blood.