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Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:23 AM

Iran's Ahmadinejad sacks only female government minister

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022084719

Iran's Ahmadinejad sacks only female government minister
Reuters Thu, Dec 27, 2012

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday dismissed his only female cabinet minister, Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, after she criticized her colleagues for failing to provide funds to import vital medicines.

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"Medicine is more essential than bread. I have heard that luxury cars have been imported with subsidized dollars but I don't know what happened to the dollars that were supposed to be allocated for importing medicine," she said on state television.

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Dastjerdi's dismissal was criticized in parliament, where Ahmadinejad has been accused of concentrating power in his own hands.

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http://www.ibtimes.com/sacking-marzieh-vahid-dastjerdi-state-opposition-iran-977744

The Sacking Of Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi And The State Of The Opposition In Iran

BY Maya Shwayder | December 28 2012 4:44 PM

The sacking of the only female minister in Iran's government announced Thursday represented a severe blow to anyone who was hoping to speak out against the country's establishment anytime soon.

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Vahid Dastjerdi was Iran's only woman in the government. However, she was neither especially progressive nor particularly pro-woman as a lawmaker. Nonetheless, she was one of only three women nominated by Ahmadinejad for various positions after the controversial 2009 elections, and the only one of those three to be approved for her post.

Indeed, Vahid Dastjerdi has been known to be a social conservative, and thus in not very popular among women's-rights activists in Iran.

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"Her sacking is indicative of an Iranian government in disarray," Sanei said. "Since the 2009 elections, the government has really shown very little respect or acceptance of dissent in the country. ... here's been a widespread crackdown on dissent in the country. We've also seen internal fighting since then -- between Ahmadinejad's government and the conservatives on the religious bench, and within his own government."

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