USA Today Wonders if Lady in Red Danced Off with US-Iran 'Detente'

May 4th, 2007 12:45 PM

Here's a rather ludicrous headline from USA Today's "On Deadline" blog:

"Did a violinist in a red dress quash detente between Iran, USA?"

The story?

Iranian Foreign Minister Manucher Mottaki exchanged pleasantries with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during regional talks in Egypt this week, but reports suggest that he didn't stay for dinner Thursday night because of concerns about the way a female violinist was dressed.

"I have been told by one of the U.S. State Department officials, who did not want to be named, that as soon as Secretary Rice walked in, Manuchehr Mottaki, the Iranian foreign minister, left. But then [Mottaki's] excuse was that there was a lady violinist who was wearing a sexy red dress -- she was wearing a shawl on it -- but he was objecting to the fact the lady was wearing a revealing red dress," says Mahtab Farid, a reporter with Radio Farda, a U.S. government-funded radio station that broadcasts in Farsi.

"On Deadline" blogger Mike Carney reported that they haven't found a picture of the woman in her supposedly sultry red dress, and asked readers to "drop us a line" if they see any.

I admit I'm curious too, although I suspect the violinist dressed much more modestly than your average Britney Spears-type pop tart, but let's remember how wacko the religious extremists who run Iran are. After all, even dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was criticized for kissing the hand of an old teacher of his, because touching a non-related woman is a violation of Sharia law.

Unfortunately, Carney failed to remind readers of that in his blog entry.