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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Iran gives Michelle Obama's Oscars dress sleeves

Michelle Obama's brief video appearance at the Oscars proved too racy for Iran's state news agency, which took it on itself to PhotoShop the First Lady's shoulderless dress into a more modest outfit.

Michelle Obama as she announces that Argo had won the Academy Award for best picture, left, and the Iranian altered version Photo: Getty Images/FARS

Mrs Obama appeared via video link at the Los Angeles award ceremony, wearing a shimmering silver dress by Naeem Khan as she announced that Argo had won the Academy Award for best picture.

The President's wife sometimes jokes about her right to "bare arms" and her dress left her shoulders and upper chest exposed.

But a report by Fars, an Iranian news agency that acts as a semi-official mouthpiece for the regime, told a different story. Its account of the Oscars ceremony was accompanied by a crudely-altered image of Mrs Obama in a less-revealing dress.

The alteration is believed to have been made so the photograph would comply with the strict rules enforced by Iranian media censors.

Iran has a history of digitally rescuing female modesty, and in 2011 a photograph of Baroness Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief, was altered to raise the hemline of a relatively low-cut top.

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