Kate Middleton and the Iranian: when a snub is not a snub

Duchess of Cambridge knew in advance that athlete would not want to shake her hand, says Palace

LAST UPDATED AT 13:13 ON Mon 3 Sep 2012

NEVER let the facts spoil a good headline. Under the banner 'Duchess of Cambridge "snubbed" by Iranian athlete at Paralympics',  The Daily Telegraph reports today on how an Iranian athlete refused to shake hands with Kate Middleton – aka the Duchess for Cambridge – when she went to present him with a silver medal in the F42 men's discus yesterday.

Mehrdad Karam Zadeh, who finished second behind British athlete Aled Davies, snubbed the Duchess for "cultural reasons", it has emerged. Though the Iranian delegation in London was unavailable to comment on the specifics, the Telegraph claims that "had the medal been presented by a man, Zadeh would have shaken his hand. Similarly, had the Duchess presented the medal to a female Iranian athlete they would not have hesitated to shake hands."

The Telegraph makes the point that diplomatic relations between the two countries are not what they might be. There have repeated threats to "wipe Israel off the map" and continued anxiety over Iran's nuclear intentions. Only yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the international community to get tougher against Tehran. "Iran must not have a nuclear weapon," he said.

But what about the "snub"? The Telegraph actually quotes a spokesman for St James's Palace saying the Duchess "was aware" that a handshake would be impossible.

Said the spokesman: "Many male athletes from Islamic countries do not shake hands in public with women they are not related [to] for cultural and religious reasons.

"The Duchess was informed in advance and was happy to accept his wishes. She considered it an honour to present the medals." · 

Disqus - noscript

1. You are mixing up Cornwall and Cambridge
2. It is standard practice for Iranian males not to shake the hand of a female; it has happened to me in a professional context.
so - no story here

double post

Amazing example of a website wearing rose-coloured glasses, every other Muslim nation attending both the Olympic Games and the Paralympics have been more than happy to shake female delegates hands. This article couldn't define 'appeasement' better.

We have addressed the first point. Many thanks...

What on earth is wrong with the Iranians? They have a completely separate language of their own with no connection to Arabic. They had their own religion - Zoroastrianism. The Deseret tribes Arabs-Muslims did a marvelous job with their religion, even converting the proud Iranians who are now as fanatical as the most extreme Muslims. What does it matter whether you shake hands with the opposite sex?

No Iranian athlete is alowed to shake hand with any woman in public even in events such as Paralympics. Definately the Duchess of Cambridge knew in advance , if not, her own fault. There is no snube.

Iranian are proud of thier culture , so if Duchess of Cambridge needs to have good relation with Iranian, she should not ask for shaking hand

I didn't see the Duchess offering her hand anyway. So NO STORY HERE

Didn't he bow? That seems more polite than a handshake. A snub would be turning your back on her.

It's not an Iranian thing, it's a Muslim thing and majority of Iranian are Muslims and the government is Muslim. Many men in Iran and Iranian men overseas do shake hands with women. It's just not expected for an athlete representing Iran to do it. "The most extreme Muslims?" Not shaking hands is the same as blowing up something in the name of God in your book? Weird.

iranian people are very polite and cultural .if he dont shake her hand,its related bye his idea and his religion... not any thing else...its not relate bye government and politics... please to respect iranian's and muslim's idea and culturs.thank you so much...

As an Agnostic, possibly an Atheist, in answer to "Anon" I am aware that it is a "Moslem thing" and am aware that most Iranians are Moslem - I am just sorry that Islam (or, for that matter, any other religion) had such a far reaching effect and got to the Iranians who had their own relgion without needing to be Christian, Moslem, Jewish, Budhist, Hindu, Sikh, or whatever. This hand shaking thing with the opposite sex is ludicrous. In my eyes, we are all equals and religion should not come into the equation. I would shake hands with anyone, provided they were sympathetic, empathetic and trustworthy. I really don't understand what you mean by "Not shaking hands is the same as blowing up something in the name of God in your book? Weird." This means absolutely nothing to me. I like all people to live happily together. By the way, why are you anonimous? ----- Original Message -----
From: Disqus
To: elenagamboa@btinternet.com
Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2012 3:19 AM
Subject: [dennis-theweek] Re: Kate Middleton and the Iranian: when a snub is not a snub

Anon (unregistered) wrote, in response to Maria Elena Gamboa:

It's not an Iranian thing, it's a Muslim thing and majority of Iranian are Muslims and the government is Muslim. Many men in Iran and Iranian men overseas do shake hands with women. It's just not expected for an athlete representing Iran to do it. "The most extreme Muslims?" Not shaking hands is the same as blowing up something in the name of God in your book? Weird.
Link to comment

Mehrdad Karam Zadeh would tap katie like a boss!

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.