It started with her open collar, continued with her scarf and continued with her knee-length jacket. The Iranian opposition suspects that in the upcoming round of nuclear talks in Moscow, European Union Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton won't have any choice but to wear a chador, a traditional Iranian robe that covers a woman from head to foot.
Recently, Iranian Internet sites have begun running a doctored photo of Ashton wearing the chador while standing next to Saeed Jalili, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator. The photo, which was released on a number of humor sites ahead of the Moscow talks, garnered attention and was published on other sites, including some affiliated with the opposition.
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"This time, in the Baghdad talks, Ashton did not wear an open-collared shirt or a short-sleeved shirt, but a knee-length jacket," the satirical site Autobus – which was responsible for Photoshopping the EU foreign policy chief into a chador – noted.
Iranian satirists imagine the next step in Ashton's Iran-friendly wardrobe (EPA)
This could be considered part of an ongoing dialogue in the Iranian media about Ashton's wardrobe, which began last January when Ashton showed up to the Istanbul talks wearing a shirt that exposed a little too much for Iranian editors' taste. They presented their readers with Photoshopped pictures from the talks in which Ashton's clollar bone was covered.
Ashton 'exposed' (R) and covered up. (Photos: Reuters and AFP)
Last month, Ashton arrived at another round of Istanbul talks wrapped in a large white scarf that covered her shirt opening, a move that was hailed in Iran as a "gesture" that she did make in her other meetings in Turkey.
For the recent Baghdad talks on Iran's nuclear program, Ashton donned a maroon jacket that covered her body to the knees, similar to the coats that women in Tehran wear, seeking to preserve their modesty and conform to the Islamic dress code.