Iran papers slam MP 'selfies of humiliation' with EU diplomat

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MPs have been denounced on social media for their 'selfies of shame'

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini during her visit to parliament (screengrab)
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Monday 7 August 2017 9:53 UTC
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Iran's newspapers were dominated on Monday by accusations MPs had embarrassed themselves by clamouring to take photographs with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini during her visit to parliament.

Mogherini was among dozens of foreign guests in Iran for the inauguration of Hassan Rouhani as president on Saturday, but she appeared to capture the most attention as members of parliament crowded round to grab a snap with her.

Images of the MPs perched on desks and lining up with their smartphones in front of the Italian diplomat triggered a storm of anger and ridicule on Iranian social media under the hashtag "selfies of humiliation".

"Dear MPs, thank you for disgracing 80 million people," wrote one Twitter user.

Others drew comparisons with iconic images such as Walt Disney's seven dwarves lining up to fawn over Snow White. 

At least one of the MPs apologised for a lack of decorum, but the issue still dominated Monday's front pages.

The reformist Ghanoon daily had a cartoon of Mogherini in the style of Edvard Munch's famous painting The Scream, with Iranian parliamentarians peeping from the corners with their mobile phones snapping away.

The episode "shows the lack of proper education in the country", it wrote in its editorial. 

But the ultra-conservative Kayhan newspaper did not see the funny side.

"Those who are supposed to defend the rights of the nation against the enemy queue up to snap photos in a humiliating way with the violators," it said.

Mogherini, who held talks with Rouhani as part of the EU's bid to rebuild trade ties with Iran, did not comment on the controversy.