Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, January 10, 2013

No disagreements in government

The Iranian president has a lot of battles to fight and he isn't about to put up with criticism from within his own government. Not even, or not especially, from the only woman who has ever served in the Islamic Republic's cabinet.

Iranian Leader Fires Woman From Cabinet
Iran’s president on Thursday dismissed his health minister, the only woman to serve in the cabinet since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, after she publicly criticized the government’s response to acute shortages of medicine imports, an indirect consequence of the Western sanctions imposed on the country.

Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi
Accounts in the state-run news media of the dismissal of the minister, Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi, did not provide an explanation for it…

Dr. Vahid-Dastjerdi, a gynecologist, was appointed in 2009 and is considered an advocate of women’s rights in Iranian society. She spoke out last month, apparently angering the president, by saying that an allocation in the budget of foreign currency needed to purchase medicines abroad was inadequate…

The medicine shortage in Iran has become an urgent problem because many Western-made drugs are increasingly hard to obtain. Under the sanctions, a broad Western ban on many financial transactions with Iran has dissuaded many foreign companies from doing business with the country, even though medicines are among items exempted from the sanctions…

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