Miss Tehran to Keep Crown, But Have Hand Cut Off

TEHRAN -- The board of the Miss Tehran Beauty Pageant yesterday said they would allow current title holder Banafsheh Khamenei to retain her crown, despite photographs that show her in compromising positions.

Miss Tehran had been under attack after receiving a package of photos that showed her with an exposed left ankle, and another in which the outline of one of her arms is clearly visible through her chador.

“I would like to thank the pageant board for giving me this second chance,” Miss Khamenei said while being led away by a swordsman who had been instructed to lop off her left hand.

The photos, originally posted on her MyMartyrs.com site, have since been taken down.

She admitted that her left ankle accidentally became exposed while she was attempting to persuade a city policeman to unlock the doors of a burning all-girls school, despite religious prohibitions for unescorted women to roam the streets of the city. The other photo, giving a clear outline of her arm, was blamed on the wind.

“In short, it was the Almighty’s judgment that her arm be revealed, like some common whore. Clearly, He intended some punishment, all praises be to Allah,” said one of the judges.

Miss Khamenei won the crown in April after wowing the judges with a Beethoven piano sonata in the talent portion of the competition.