Iran’s media considers German female minister a man, sparking outrage over handshake


Iranian Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar

Iran’s press and social media users blasted a handshake between Germany’s Minister for the Environment Barbara Hendricks and Iranian Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar on Thursday.

The Iranian news outlet IRIB reported that Ebtekar shook a man’s hand while visiting her counterpart Hendricks in Berlin.

 Iran’s radical theological state prohibits hand contact between a religious woman and a man who does not know her. Tehran also mandates a public policy of strict separation between men and women.

“This handshake [created an] uproar for [a] few hours in conservative media & social network pages. They thought the #Germanminister is a man. #Iran,” wrote Sadegh Ghorbani, a Tehran- based journalist, on his Twitter feed.

Ebtekar served as the spokeswoman for the Iranians who took 52 Americans hostage in 1979

Germany’s LGBT press reported on the case of alleged homophobia because Hendricks is a lesbian. The website Queer.de wrote that Hendricks announced she was a lesbian in 2013 and is the first lesbian in German history to serve as a federal minister.

The NGO Stop the Bomb, an organization that seeks to end Iran’s nuclear program and improve human rights in the country, tweeted on Friday, “Disgraceful: Lesbian German minister happily signed deals with regime of Iran that executes homosexuals.”

According to a 2008 British WikiLeaks dispatch, Iran executed 4,000 to 6,000 gays and lesbians between 1979, the founding of the Islamic Republic, and 2008. Iran’s regime prescribes the death penalty for gays as part of Islamic Shari’a law system.

In July, Iran hanged Hassan Afshar, 19, a gay teenager.

Stefan Schaden, a LGBT rights activist with the Stop the Bomb campaign, told The Jerusalem Post at the time, “Consensual homosexual conduct remains illegal under Iran’s Shari’a law and is punished with public flogging or even execution.

While the Islamic State throws gays from rooftops, the Islamic Republic [of Iran] hangs them.”

Published by CityFella

Big city fella, Born and Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lived in New York (a part time New Yorker) for three years . I have lived in the Sacramento area since 1993. When I first moved here, I hated it. Initially found the city too conservative for my tastes. A great place to raise children however too few options for adults . The city has grown up, there is much to do here. The city suffers from low self esteem in my opinion, locals have few positive words to say about their hometown. visitors and transplants are amazed at what they find here. From, the grand old homes in Alkali Flats, and the huge trees in midtown, there are many surprises in Sacramento. Theater is alive is this area . And finally ,there is a nightlife... In.downtown midtown, for the young and not so young. My Criticism is with local government. There is a shortage of visionaries in city hall. Sacramento has long relied on the state, feds and real estate for revenue. Like many cities in America,Downtown Sacramento was the hub of activity in the area. as the population moved to the suburbs and retail followed. The city has spent millions to revive downtown. Today less than ten thousand people live downtown. No one at city hall could connect the dots. Population-Retail. Business says Sacramento is challenging and many corporations have chosen to set up operations outside the cities limits. There is vision in the burbs. Sacramento has bones, there are many good pieces here, leaders seem unable or unwilling to put those pieces together into. Rant aside, I love it here. From the trees to the rivers. But its the people here that move me. Sacramento is one of the most integrated cities in America. I find I'm welcome everywhere. The spices work in this city of nearly 500,000 and for the most part these spices blend well together. From Ukrainians to Hispanics and a sizable gay community, all the spices seem to work well here. I frequently travel and occasionally I will venture into a city with huge racial borders, where its unsafe to visit after certain hours. I haven't found it here. I cant imagine living in a community where there is one hue or one spice. I love the big trees, Temple Coffee House, the Alhambra Safeway, Zelda's Pizza, Bicyclist in Midtown, The Mother Lode Saloon, Crest Theater, and the Rivers. I could go on and I might. Sacramento is home.

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