Iranian actress Leila Hatami has apologized for kissing the Cannes Film Festival president on the cheek -- an act which angered authorities in Tehran.
In a May 23 letter to Iran’s cinema organization quoted by the state news agency IRNA, Hatami said she was "sorry for hurting the feelings of some people."
Hatami said 83-year-old festival president Gilles Jacob forgot the Islamic rules of behavior in public, “which comes with old age.”
She said her "pre-emptive action of hand shaking" was "fruitless."
Though embarrassed to explain, she said she had to provide “details for those who could not understand the inevitable situation” she was stuck in.
Underlining her respect for Islamic rules, Hatami said: "In my eyes, he is certainly like an old grandfather who was also my host."
Based on reporting by AFP and IRNA