TEHRAN, Aug 29: Iran’s foreign ministry has appointed its first-ever spokeswoman, with President Hassan Rowhani appearing to welcome the move as part of a campaign to empower women, reports said on Thursday.

However, the appointment has drawn criticism from some conservative quarters.

Marzieh Afkham, a career diplomat with nearly three decades at the ministry, has been media and public diplomacy director there since 2010, media reported.

Announcing the appointment, outgoing spokesman Abbas Araqchi told the ISNA news agency Afkham “is seasoned and experienced in the field of media diplomacy.”: Those who have criticism about this will understand that her expertise was the only factor in this appointment,”

Afkham’s appointment comes as Rowhani has reportedly asked officials to appoint women to high-ranking posts.

The cabinet is dominated by men, except for Elham Aminzadeh, who is the vice president for parliamentary affairs.—AFP

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