President Hassan Rouhani of Iran is in Europe seeking to improve economic ties following the relaxation of sanctions on the country.
Rouhani was received in Italy last Monday where he met with Italian officials and the Pope, and he met with France’s President, François Hollande on Thursday. This is the first time an Iranian president has visited Europe in almost two decades and marks a resumption of his country’s diplomatic relations with the continent.
In welcoming Rouhani at Rome’s Capitoline Museum, ancient nude statues were covered in respect of his conservative beliefs. However, citizens of the country were infuriated, taking to social media to express their anger. “Covering those nudes… meant covering ourselves,” said La Repubblica, an Italian newspaper.
Under the hashtag #statuenude, Italians tweeted photos of nude statues representing their history and culture, openly criticizing Iran, a country which denies freedom of choice for women who have been forced to cover themselves and their hair since the overthrow of the Palhvic Dynasty in 1979.
Monday saw contracts worth around €17bn ($18.4bn) signed between Iran and Italian companies, the BBCreports.
In Italy, no alcohol was served in official menus, giving France a hint to welcome him the same way?
Rouhani’s visit to France was different than that of Italy. Alongside Hollande, human rights activists and feminists welcomed Rouhani, but each in different gesture. A woman “hanged” herself from a bridge wearing a sign reading “Welcome Rouhani, Executioner of Freedom”. A group of human rights activists marched on the streets of Paris to protest his visit to the country.
Unlike Italy, France refused to remove alcohol from the official menus, therefore; the lunch reception was cancelled.
Wait! This is 18+!