Iran vice-president under fire over Koran "dance"
International Herald Tribune / Edmund Blair

An aide to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has come under fire for attending a ceremony that involved actions deemed insulting to the Koran, a row that has given fuel to the Iranian president's opponents before next year's election.  In comments published on Sunday, opponents targeted his vice-president, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, who is in charge of a culture and tourism body, for hosting a ceremony where women in traditional dress carried in the Koran, Islam's holy book, to music. Media described the ceremony as a "dance."  "Violation of the sanctity (of the Koran) in the presence of your Excellency's deputy and under his management ... causes deep regret for every Muslim," the head of the Islamic Coalition Front, Mohammad-Nabbi Habibi, said in a letter to the president.

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