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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appoints two female vice presidents

9 August 2017, 7:16:00

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appointed two female vice presidents on Wednesday, a day after coming under fire from reformists for nominating no women ministers.

Massoumeh Ebtekar, who was known internationally for her role as spokesperson during the 1980 US embassy hostage crisis, was appointed as vice president in charge of women's affairs, having previously run the environment brief in Rouhani's office.

Laya Joneydi was recruited as the vice president for legal affairs, while another woman, Shahindokht Mowlaverdi, was enrolled as a special adviser for citizens' rights.

Rouhani, who had three female vice presidents during his previous term, still has several more deputy positions to fulfill and it was not clear if any would go to women.

The lack of any women among Rouhani's new ministers, declared on Tuesday, has been strongly criticized by his reformist allies who say he has bowed to pressure from the religious establishment.

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