Attar, for his part, has gone to great lengths to explain that his hand didn’t touch Roth’s, even though he appears to initiate the contact. In the Islamic republic, casual physical contact with women who are not close relatives is considered taboo, and Attar is banned from shaking hands with women in his capacity as a dipolomat.
In an interview with the hard-line Fars news agency, Attar said that he merely raised his hand to greet Roth.
„Because of laws and for religious reasons, we don’t shake hands with women,“ Attar explained. „Therefore, as a sign of respect I raised my hand — I didn’t raise my hand to shake her hand — Mrs. Roth also raised her hand. Of course the distance was small but no touching took place.“
Attar accused „Bild“ of supporting „Zionists“ and the Iranian opposition group Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), which is considered a terrorist organization by the Islamic republic.
He said while the German Green Party and the Islamic republic differ on some issues, including human rights issues, they both agree on „the danger“ posed by MKO.