TEHRAN: Iranian media mistook German female environment minister for a male legislator and subjected its vice president to criticism for shaking hands with a person of opposite gender.
State broadcasters indicated Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar had shaken hands with a male minister at a meeting, triggering a furore in the country.
But in reality, she met German female environment minister, Barbara Hendriks, who was wearing a suit and had short hair.
Signed MOU & well defined action plan on water, air, biodiversity & more with Barbara Hendricks, German Environment Minister in Berlin pic.twitter.com/3hy3lBaajp
— Massoumeh Ebtekar (@ebtekarm) October 6, 2016
Press in the country had reported Ms Hendricks was a woman who “looks like a man”.
Sadegh Ghorbani, a Tehran- based journalist tweeted: “This handshake [created an] uproar for [a] few hours in conservative media & social network pages. They thought the #Germanminister is a man. #Iran.”
Ms Ebtekar became well-known in the West in 1979 when she was the spokeswoman for the Iranian students who stormed the US embassy and took 52 diplomats hostage, reported the Independent.
Christian Democratic Union MP Thomas Feist told German tabloid Bild Ms Ebtekar “does not stand for a changing Iran. We should be more careful in choosing political partners.”
Following the completion of nuclear talks with Iran in January, sanctions against Iran have been lifted and it has once more become connected with the global economy.