(Persia Digest) – A veteran Iranian diplomat has told Persia Digest (PD) that certain bodies outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs opposed to choosing a woman as the new spokesperson for the Ministry. 

New changes have taken place in Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the past couple of days. One of them was related to the position of spokesperson. Bahram Ghasemi handed over the post to Abbas Mousavi and went to Paris as Iran’s new Ambassador to France. 

Commenting on the replacement, Mohammad-Hossein Malaek, former Iranian diplomat and Ambassador to China, told PD: “Choosing a spokesperson has become a procedure based on hierarchy. While it was expected that a woman will be selected for the post, this faced some opposition from outside the Ministry. In fact, the general social restrictions for women have reached the Foreign Ministry too.”

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Malaek’s comments have been made while during the first term of President Rouhani, Ms Marzieh Afkham was appointed as the first spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and served for two years from September 2013 to November 2015. Later, she was appointed as the first Iranian woman ambassador and missioned to Malaysia after the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

PD efforts to obtain comments from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about Malaek’s statement have been abortive.

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