Iranian actress Leila Hatami apologized on Friday for kissing the president of the Cannes film festival on the cheek, which in turn ignited a storm of backlash from authorities in the Islamic Republic, AFP reported.
"I am so sorry for hurting the feelings of some people," state news agency IRNA quoted her as saying in a letter to Iran's cinema organization.
Hatami, who gained fame for her role in the 2012 Oscar-winning film “A Separation," was filmed by the Canal+ television network on the red carpet at Cannes just as she was planting a kiss on the cheek of Gilles Jacob, according to AFP.
According to the report, the internationally renowned actress stated her respect for Sharia law, which forbid women to have physical contact with a man outside of her marriage.
In her letter, Hatami explained that she had kissed the cheek of the 83-year-old Jacob in the customary French manner after her "pre-emptive action of hand shaking was fruitless."
Iran’s state-run media took notice of the picture, calling it an affront to the “chastity” of Iranian women, AFP reported.