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Iran actress's Cannes kiss sparks ire back home

Published on May 19, 2014 6:11 AM
Iranian actress and member of the Feature films Jury Leila Hatami poses as she arrives for the screening of the film "Le Meraviglie (The Wonders)" at the 67th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 18, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

TEHERAN (AFP) - Iranian actress Leila Hatami on Sunday angered authorities in Teheran 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”.

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