Iran names woman as ministry press chief

Aug. 30, 2013 at 10:49 AM

TEHRAN, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- The Iranian government announced Friday career diplomat Marziyeh Afkham was appointed to serve as a spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry.

The semi-official Fars News Agency announced the appointment. It said she served was a media official in the Foreign Ministry for eight years.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced an all-male Cabinet shortly after he was sworn in Aug. 3. He announced a week into his first term he was naming Elham Aminzadeh, a woman, as the vice president for legal affairs.

The New York Times reported in December former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sacked Health Minister Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi after she criticized a shortage of medicine in the country. She was the only woman to hold a Cabinet-level position since the 1979 revolution.

Rouhani ran as a moderate compared to rival candidates in this year's presidential contest. Fars quoted him as saying "discrimination between men and women will be eliminated in all social arenas" during his administration.

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