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Iran President Hassan Rouhani Appoints 3 VPs

BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – In line with his political campaign and persistent criticism of a lopsided cabinet, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has appointed three women as Vice-Presidents.

The new appointees were: Masumeh Ebtekar, (VP) for family and women’s affairs; Laya Joneydi, for legal affairs and Shahindokht Mowlaverdi, the President’s assistant for civil rights.

Iran’s 12 VPs run organisations linked to the Presidency.

There has been only one female cabinet member since Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979.

The opposition in the cabinet is passive as the Sunnis are only 10 per cent of Shia-majority Iran

Ms Mowlaverdi once said the all-male cabinet showed that Iran was “treading water”. She and Ms Ebtekar served as VPs in Mr Rouhani’s first tenure.

Previously, reformists have alleged that lack of diversity in the new cabinet is a sign that Mr. Rouhani is bowing to pressure from Iran’s religious establishment.

Traditionally, lawmakers are not expected to challenge the chosen cabinet, as key roles are filled with the approval of the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

It would be recalled that President Rouhani defeated hardliner Ebrahim Raisi to the presidency in May after pledging to improve Iran’s civil liberties and rebuild ties with the West.

He called in February this year, at a conference titled “Women, Moderation and Development”, for a greater female presence in politics and culture.

The only woman who occupied a cabinet position in Iran since 1979 was former Health Minister Marzieh Dastjerdi, who served from 2009-13 under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – Mr Roujhani’s hardline predecessor.

 

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