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Ahmadinejad Sacks Health Minister

Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi
Iranian state television reports that President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has sacked Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi.

Dastjerdi was the only woman in Ahmadinejad's cabinet.

The report about Dastjerdi's dismissal comes after her ministry issued a statement last week criticizing the Central Bank for not providing money to import medicine.

The ministry statement noted that although money for medicine was lacking, the Central Bank was providing hard currency to import pet food, horse saddles, and dog collars.

The minister reportedly proposed price increases on some medicines, but Ahmadinejad was said to oppose that and dismissed her.

Iran's hard currency shortage is linked to tough economic sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union over Tehran's controversial nuclear program.

The sanctions are not directed at medical imports, but they do limit them because of financial transaction restrictions.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP