A picture shared by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on social media has caused uproar in the country. The picture, taken during a trekking holiday near Tehran on Newroz weekend, shows Rouhani posing with a group of trekking women, with one of them not wearing a headscarf.
The picture received a vast number of interactions on photo-sharing site Instagram with over 143,000 likes and almost 18,000 comments.
The photo has enraged conservatives in Iran while supporters of the president commented positively underneath the picture.
On 19 May the country will hold presidential elections and some have said that the picture was purposefully shared by Rouhani to mask economic problems in the country. Former conservative member of parliament Hameed Rasayi comented on the picture saying, “the picture is to camouflage the economic problems of our country. It is a move for the elections but it is against the conservative values of Iran’s Islamic Republic.”
Rouhani was hailed as a moderate figure when he was elected to office in 2013.