Iranian Shakes Woman's Hand, Drops Prez Bid

Youtube video shows reformist leader with uncovered females
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2007 5:56 AM CDT

Iran's opposition leader has dropped out of the race to unseat Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president after the circulation of a Youtube video that appears to show him shaking hands with a woman, says the Guardian. The video and several photographs of Mohammad Khatami also show the reform-minded former Iranian president speaking to several women without head coverings while leaving a speech in Italy in May.

In the face of singeing opposition from right-wing clerics, who have called for him to be defrocked, Khatami chose to end his presidential bid rather than damage the reformist movement's electoral chances. Khatami won two terms as president, in 1997 and 2001; Iran's next presidential election is in 2009. (More Mohammad Khatami stories.)

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