Iran's Ahmadinejad sacks only female minister

President dismisses health minister, who was Islamic Republic's first woman cabinet member, for criticising colleagues.

    Iran's first woman minister, Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, was the head of the health ministry  [GALLO/GETTY]
    Iran's first woman minister, Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, was the head of the health ministry [GALLO/GETTY]

    President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has dismissed Iran's only female cabinet member after she criticised her colleagues.

    Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi was sacked as health minister on Thursday after serving in government for three years as the first woman minister since the Islamic Republic was established in 1979.

    Dastjerdi allegedly pulled rank on her co-workers for failing to provide funds to import vital medicines.

    While seen as politically conservative, the gynecologist has been an active advocate promoting a greater role for women in society.

    The news comes after reports of shortages of some critical medicines used for treating cancer, multiple sclerosis, blood disorders and other serious conditions.

    In November, Dastjerdi said only a quarter of the $2.4bn funds allocated for medicine imports had been provided in the
    current year. She also reiterated a shortage of foreign currency for the shipments.

    In an interview on state television, she said: "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."

    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.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    World Cup 2018 quiz: How big a football fan are you?

    World Cup 2018 quiz: How big a football fan are you?

    Answer as many correct questions in 90 seconds to win the World Cup with your favourite team.

    The shocking story of Israel's disappeared babies

    The shocking story of Israel's disappeared babies

    New information has come to light about thousands of mostly Yemeni children believed to have been abducted in the 1950s.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.