Senior Iranian clerics are attacking President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for one of the few decent things he ever did:  Consoling Hugo Chavez’s mother with a hug.  Physical contact across gender lines is considered a sin under Iran’s strict Islamic codes.

The photo of Ahmadinejad expressing his sympathies at the funeral for the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was widely distributed throughout the world.

Iranian newspapers quoted clerics saying the hug was “forbidden,” “inappropriate behavior”, and “clowning around.”

They say that touching any woman who is not a close relative is “forbidden under any circumstances, whether shaking hands or touching by the cheek.”

And because it’s a story about Ahmadinejad, there’s crazy stuff, too.

The strict clerics are outraged that Ahmadinejad hailed Chavez as a martyr who will be resurrected and will return to Earth along with Jesus Christ and Shiite Muslim saints. 

They won’t have Ahmadinejad to kick around for too much longer, he’s term-limited out and the end of this run.