Iranian ambassador: ‘High five’ with female MP didn’t break Islamic law

By David Edwards
Monday, February 11, 2013 14:18 EDT
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Ali Reza Sheik Attar high fives MP Claudia Roth (screengrab/Reuters)
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The Iranian ambassador to Germany is insisting that he did not break Islamic law by touching a female member of parliament with a “high five” greeting because he says the contact was accidental.

The German magazine Spiegel reported last week that Ali Reza Sheik Attar was caught on video “high-fiving” MP Claudia Roth during a security meeting in Munich.

In the video clip, Attar is seen smiling and raising his hand as Roth approaches. She quickly slaps his palm as he appears to enthusiastically meet her hand with his.

But a statement from the Iranian embassy claimed that Attar had not broken Islamic law because he had not participated in the gesture.

“The ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran never shakes hands with a woman, and he has never shaken Claudia Roth’s hand either,” a spokesperson told the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung.

For her part, Roth, who is a critic of Iran, also downplayed the incident.

A spokesperson said that Roth was committed to the “Iranian opposition movement,” but gave the ambassador a high five because they had known each other for years.

Watch this video from the Telegraph, broadcast Feb. 11, 2013.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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