Iranian actress Leila Hatami is in trouble with authorities of the Islamic Republic after she was photographed kissing the president of the 67th Cannes Film Festival.
A picture published by Iranian media shows the 41-year-old actress shaking hands with the 83-year-old Gilles Jacob and kissing him on the cheeks. Under Islamic law, which has been in force in Iran since 1979, a woman cannot have physical contact with a man who is not a family member.
Iran’s Deputy Culture Minister Hossein Noushabadi criticised Hatami’s act at the Cannes Festival, saying it undermined the image of chastity.
“I hope that those who attend international arenas as Iranian women would be careful about the chastity and dignity of Iranians so that the image of the Iranian woman is not tainted before the world,” he said. “If they respect Islamic norms and the national culture and beliefs of Iran, it would be a desirable thing for Iranian celebrities to go abroad, but if their presence lacks regard for social values and ethical criteria, the Iranian nation is not going to accept it.”
Hatami, who is on the jury this year at the annual Cannes festival, received worldwide acclaim after she starred as the leading actress in Asghar Farhadi’s Academy Award winning movie A Separation.