Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been criticised by Iranian religious and political groups after a picture from funeral for Hugo Chavez showed him getting up close and personal with the mother of the late Venezuelan president.
The loose, hand-holding, cheek-to-cheek embrace with a sobbing Elena Frias is not scandalous, but Iranian religious and political groups condemned it as Islamic law forbids unrelated men and women from touching, Al-Monitor reports.
Hojat al-Islam Hossein Ibrahimi, a member of the Society of Militant Clergy of Tehran, said that 'no unrelated women can be touched unless she is drowning at sea or needs (medical) treatment'.
The online English-language news source reported that others said the embrace was "far from the status of a Muslim," the New York Daily News reports.
According to the paper, a conservative member of the country's parliament, Seyyed Mohammad Pourfatemi, called on clerics to "confront seriously and condemn the president's latest actions and not allow him to do what as he pleases when it comes to infringing Islamic laws.
The picture went viral on social media with many users joking about the shot, the website reported.