Presidential Peck Sets Off Iranian Sex Scandal

A kiss on the hand lands Ahmadinejad in hot water with hard-liners
By Greg Atwan,  Newser User
Posted May 2, 2007 4:00 PM CDT
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaks during in a ceremony to mark Army Day in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday April, 18, 2007. Iran's hard-line president proposes talks with President Bush on a wide...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is at the center of an unlikely sex scandal today, after being caught on camera kissing the hand—even if it was gloved—of a retired schoolteacher. Ahmadinejad's sexy faux pas, at a ceremony honoring the country's teachers, is a violation of Shariah law, hard-liners say.

"This type of indecency progressively has grave consequences, like violating religious and sacred values," the right-wing newspaper Hezbollah wrote. Ahmadinejad—hardly known abroad for his permissive attitudes—has been seen at home as something of a maverick on women's issues, even offering a widely criticized suggestion last year that they be able to attend soccer matches.