Millions around the world tuned in to watch Hollywood's Academy Awards ceremony Sunday night including Iranian journalists, who were surprised to see Michelle Obama
make an appearance.
America's First Lady announced the winner in the best film category – "Argo" - wearing a shoulder-bearing silver gown designed by Naeem Khan.
The dress was apparently too much for Iran's semiofficial Fars News Agency, which photoshopped it adding sleeves and a higher neckline in its report.
Obama on the screen (L), and in Iranian media (Photos: AFP, Fars)
This is not the first time Iranian media "covered" women up. In 2011, local newspapers censored Catherine Ashton's
neckline in front page photographs.
The European Union foreign policy chief's seemingly conservative top was enough to appear immodest, prompting the Iranian censors to give her a higher neckline.
Ashton's 'immodest' attire (Photo: AFP)
Iranian media's covering of Ashton
"She was properly dressed," A spokesperson for Ashton told the Telegraph in response. "It was not low-cut. Many women in Iran
are in a complete veil. These were international negotiations in a third country."
Such tweaking is not out of the ordinary in Iran; actresses who are photographed in foreign countries in revealing clothing often get digitally covered up, while in 2008 photos of a rocket-launching operation of the Iranian army was proven to be edited – an extra rocket was added to the three that were actually launched.
But it wasn't only Obama's dress that irked the Iranian press. Some Iranian news agencies said the decision to award the Oscar to "Argo" showed how Hollywood was infused by politics.
"The politicization of selecting Argo even involved the White House and the announcing of the winner was left for Michelle Obama, the wife of the American President," the official IRNA news agency reported.
Iran's culture minister said that Oscar-winning best picture "Argo", about a CIA mission to rescue American diplomats from Tehran after the Islamic revolution, is anti-Iranian.
"This anti-Iran film lacks any artistic aspects and it is a very weak film from an artistic perspective and we don't expect anything else from the enemy," Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad Hosseini said, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.
Iran said in September it would boycott the 2013 Oscars to protest against the making of a crude anti-Islam video, "The Innocence of Muslims" in the United States that has caused outrage throughout the Muslim world.
Asghar Farhadi's "A Separation" won the Oscar for best foreign language film last year, the first Iranian film to do so.
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop