Rahnavard, fired up in Iran

"I will not relax until I teach him a lesson."

Tue, June 09, 2009

Zahra Rahnavard, who is married to Iranian presidential hopeful Hossein Mousavi and featured in our documentary “Behind Closed Cha-dors,” is shaking things up in Iran this week. When we met her she was chancellor of al-Zahra university for women in Tehran. In 2006 current president Mr Ahmadinejad’s Government ousted her from the University because she had invited Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian human rights activist and Nobel laureate, to give a lecture. 

This week Rahnavard startled the nation by delivering a 90-minute tour-de-force press conference that that may lead to an (electoral) overthrow of President Ahmadinejad.

Read the Times report for the full story - but here are some highlights. In addition to demanding a public apology from Ahmadinejad (who recently dissed her again), Rahnavard accused Mr Ahmadinejad of “humiliating not just her, but all Iranian women, and of seeking to block their progress and deny them higher education. She said that he had violated his constitutional duty to defend the rights of all Iranians, and brought shame on his office. “I will not relax until I teach him a lesson,” she declared.” (Emphasis mine.)

She went on to promise “that her husband, if elected, would appoint women to Cabinet posts for the first time, and name many female deputy ministers and ambassadors. He would end discrimination and ensure that women were no longer treated as second-class citizens. He would release women’s rights activists from prison and abolish the “morality police” who, during Mr Ahmadinejad’s first term, cracked down on women deemed to be dressed inappropriately. She even suggested that women should not be forced to cover their heads.”

Zahra for Prez!

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