The PJ Tatler

See the Photo that Is Enraging Iran's Tyrants

Ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran has gone backward in time. What was a modernizing country in which many women avoided the burka, as in this photo from Tehran in the 1970s before the revolution…

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…has become a mullahcracy ruled by a few bearded men armed with sixth-century ideas.

This man, Ayatollah Khamenei, rules Iran behind its “elected” presidents and officials.

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Today, he is angry at Iranian actress Leila Hatami.

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Why? Because of the photo on the next page.

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That photo was captured at the Cannes film festival in France this weekend. Hatami is one of the judges at Cannes this year. The festival’s president is Gilles Jacob.

Hatami is seen in public giving her colleague a chaste kiss.

The mullahs aren’t happy.

Tehran (AFP) – Iranian actress Leila Hatami on Sunday angered authorities in Tehran by kissing the Cannes film festival’s president on the cheek, an act seen as affront to the “chastity” of the Islamic republic’s women.

A photograph carried by Iranian media shows Hatami kissing Gilles Jacob at the opening of this year’s festival.

“Those who attend intentional events should take heed of the credibility and chastity of Iranians, so that a bad image of Iranian women will not be demonstrated to the world,” Deputy Culture Minister Hossein Noushabadi said, quoted by the website of state broadcaster IRIB.

“Iranian woman is the symbol of chastity and innocence,” he said. Hatami’s “inappropriate presence” at the festival was “not in line with our religious beliefs”.

In a free country, Hatami could tell the mullahs to buzz off and mind their own business. Iran is anything but a free country. Iran’s sharia law is the same law that, in Sudan, is condemning a pregnant woman to death because she is a Christian.

The star of the 2012 foreign film Oscar for A Separation, Hatami may now face the wrath of the Islamic government in Tehran, if she returns to her country.