Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Iran Fires Only Female Minister

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday dismissed his only female cabinet minister, Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, after she criticised her colleagues for failing to provide funds to import vital medicines.

Appointed in 2009, Dastjerdi was the first woman government minister since the Islamic Republic was established in 1979. While seen as politically conservative, the gynaecologist has advocated a greater role for women in society.

Reports have emerged in recent weeks of shortages of some critical medicines for treatment of cancer, multiple sclerosis, blood disorders and other serious conditions.

Last month, Dastjerdi said only a quarter of the $2.4 billion earmarked for medicine imports had been provided in the current year and there was a shortage of foreign currency for the shipments.

“Medicine is more essential than bread. I have heard that luxury cars have been imported with subsidized dollars but I don’t know what happened to the dollars that were supposed to be allocated for importing medicine,” she said on state television.

Iranian officials blame the shortages on sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union, but the government has come under heavy criticism itself for failing to manage the needs of Iranians properly.

Ahmadinejad’s political rivals accuse him of exacerbating the effects of sanctions through poor management and cronyism.

In a short statement, he announced the interim appointment of Mohammad Hassan Tariqat Monfared as head of the ministry, replacing Dastjerdi.

“Noting your commitment and valuable experiences and based on the … constitution, I appoint you as the caretaker health minister,” read the statement published widely across Iranian media.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.