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Ahmadinejad To Name Three Women As Ministers

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad
TEHRAN (Reuters) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said he would propose at least three women ministers in his new cabinet following June's disputed election, an unprecedented move in the conservative Islamic state.

It would be the first time a woman would hold such a ministerial position in Iran since its 1979 Islamic revolution. One woman minister under the shah's government, Farrokhroo Parsa, was executed after the revolution in 1980.

Ahmadinejad has until August 19 to present a cabinet to parliament for approval but may get a rough ride from the conservatives who dominate the assembly, as well as from his moderate foes who dispute his election victory.

"With the 10th presidential election, we have entered a new era ... conditions changed completely and the government (make-up) will see major changes," Ahmadinejad told state television on August 16.

He named two of his proposed female ministers and said at least one more would be added to the list.

The ones he named were Fatemeh Ajorlou, now a member of parliament, as social welfare minister and Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi as health minister.

"At least one more will be added," Ahmadinejad said.

He also said Heydar Moslehi, now an adviser to Ahmadinejad on clerical affairs, would be nominated as new intelligence minister.

Iranian media last month reported that Ahmadinejad had sacked Intelligence Minister Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei.

Economy Minister Shamseddin Hosseini would retain the post.