Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 29
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran has appointed its first female ambassador since the 1979 Islamic revolution, breaking a 37-year-old taboo.
Marziyeh Afkham, the foreign ministry spokeswoman was appointed as the Islamic Republic's ambassador to Malaysia, Iran's ISNA news agency reported Oct. 29.
Afkham is expected to start her mission in Kuala Lumpur in the coming weeks.
Iran's 53-year-old diplomat was appointed as the foreign ministry's spokeswoman in August 2013, which was also the first time ever in the Islamic Republic.
She already served as foreign ministry's Director General for Information and Press for eight years. Afkham also served as foreign ministry's Director General for Public Diplomacy under former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi.
Afkham will be the second female ambassador Iran has had so far. Under the ruling of Iran's last shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Mehrangiz Dolatshahi, became an ambassador to Denmark in 1976, a post she held until the Islamic revolution.
Last month, President Hassan Rouhani's administration broke another taboo appointing the Islamic Republic's first Sunni Muslim envoy. Saleh Adibi who belongs to Kurdish ethnic and Sunni religious minority was appointed as Iran's ambassador to Vietnam and Cambodia.
Iran's moderate president, Rouhani pledged during his election campaign that "discrimination between men and women will be eliminated in all social arenas" in his administration. Changing security-oriented stance towards Iranian ethnic groups and remove all kind of discrimination towards them also was among his 2013 campaign promises.
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