Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Aug. 07 – Women will not be included in the cabinet of Iran’s new hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a leading ultra-conservative figure said on Sunday.
Hamid-Reza Taraghi, a central committee member of the Motalefeh Party, told a state-run news agency, “The circumstances for women to be ministers in the cabinet do not exist, but probably they can become deputies”. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Aug. 07 – Women will not be included in the cabinet of Iran’s new hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a leading ultra-conservative figure said on Sunday.

Hamid-Reza Taraghi, a central committee member of the Motalefeh Party, told a state-run news agency, “The circumstances for women to be ministers in the cabinet do not exist, but probably they can become deputies”.

Motalefeh is short for Jamiat’haye Motalefeh Islami, or Unified Islamic Associations. It came into existence in the 1960s as a clandestine radical Islamic fundamentalist group supporting Ayatollah Khomeini. Its members assassinated the Shah’s Prime Minister Ali Mansour and several other political figures. Its leaders, who hailed from Tehran’s Bazaar, became multi-billionaire entrepreneurs after the Islamic Revolution. They strongly oppose foreign investment and integration of Iran in the global economy.

“Until now, we have had several cases of trial and error, but our country is in a state where one cannot tolerate experimenting with new administrations”, Taraghi said.

“When people come and accept the responsibility to act, they must be able to turn their decisions into practice using their past experiences without creating chaos in the country’s administration or harming their relevant departments with their inexperience”, the hard-line official added.

Taraghi went on to say that inexperienced individuals given leading posts in government ministries would hold back that department’s work by at least six months leading to an inability to make appropriate decisions.

The Motalefeh Party central committee member added that Ahmadinejad would not negotiate with ethnic minorities for their members to join his cabinet.

In July, Habibollah Asgar-Owladi, a leading ally of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that Ahmadinejad’s forthcoming cabinet would be made up entirely of Islamic “fundamentalists”. “There will be no outsiders”, he said.

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