Amid criticism, Rouhani appoints two female vice presidents

Iranian President appoints two female vice presidents after coming under fire for failing to include women ministers in his cabinet.

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Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani
Reuters

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday appointed two female vice presidents, a day after coming under fire from reformists for failing to include women ministers in his cabinet, AFP reported.

On Tuesday, Rouhani put forward a new cabinet which failed to include women, young people or minorities, leading to accusations from reformists that he had failed to live up to his campaign promises.

Wednesday’s appointments, however, did little to appease the critics..

"It is incredible and shocking that the president has ignored the demands of women in nominating his government," Parvaneh Salahshouri, head of a parliamentary women's group, told lawmakers, according to AFP.

A letter calling for female ministers to be appointed was signed by 157 of the 290 MPs, the report said.

Rouhani, who won the presidential election in 2013, was reelected to a second term in May, largely thanks to the backing of the country’s reformists.

Rouhani has been touted by the West as a “moderate” but under his presidency, Iran has set new records in the number of executions, many for political or religious "crimes". He has also done little in the way of freeing reformist political leaders who were jailed after protesting the 2009 election.

Despite his conciliatory messages ahead of the election, Rouhani has in the past called Israel “illegitimate” and lamented that the crisis in Syria has made it difficult for Iran to focus on harming Israel.