TEHRAN: Iran’s former reformist president Mohammad Khatami on Thursday vehemently denied breaking Islamic rules by shaking hands with women on a trip to Italy, amid growing condemnation from conservatives.
Khatami’s hardline foes have expressed outrage over video footage circulating on the Internet which apparently shows the former president shaking hands with several women.
“Khatami officially denied that he had shook hands with any woman and the film circulating is not based on reality,” said a statement from his office reported by the ISNA news agency and Ham Mihan newspaper. “This film circulating on some conservative websites which shows him shaking hand with some Italian women is a version that has been edited and Khatami wholly denies this.”
Khatami’s trip at the start of May saw him meet Italian leaders as well as Pope Benedict XVI.—AFP