In a move critics have called a feckless cultural capitulation, French leaders banned the government’s team of strippers from attending a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani Thursday.
The decision to remove the strippers was made in order to accommodate Iran’s conservative government, which strictly enforces modestly laws on women in its country. The controversy comes just days after the Italian government came under fire for covering up a number of nude sculptures during Rouhani’s visit to Rome. While some saw the decisions as sensible given the Iranians’ cultural sensitivities, others viewed them as cowardly acts of submission.
“President [François] Hollande’s abandonment of French values in the face of jihadi opposition is an outrage!” former French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn told The Mideast Beast. “If I were President, I’d choose the strippers over those Iranian mullahs any day. And if Rouhani did visit, he’d better leave his wife at home.”
While claiming they had not asked that the strippers be barred from the meeting, Iranian officials said they appreciated the gesture. The Saudi government, meanwhile, has reportedly reached out to French officials to assure them that the strippers would definitely not be a problem during the Saudi king’s visit.