Inside Iran: A Big First For Iranian Women

Mrs. Marzieh Afkham, Irans new Foreign Min. spox (on left) fluent in several languages incl English.Muhammad Lila/ABC News
Mrs. Marzieh Afkham, Iran's new Foreign Min. spox (on left) fluent in several languages incl English.

ABC News correspondent Muhammad Lila reports from Iran this week, digging into a changing country few Americans understand.

Politically savvy and fluent in several languages including English, Marzieh Afkham has become the recognizable face of Iran's Foreign Ministry in her black chador.

A career diplomat with decades of experience in Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Afkham, 48, is the first female Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and first female spokeswoman for the ministry, both big firsts for Iranian women.

Tapped in August by Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (@JZarif), he reportedly quoted Iranian poet Sohrab Sepehri when he appointed Afkham, "We need to wash our eyes and see differently."

Zarif is taking his cues from Iran's new President Hassan Rouhani who vowed to pave the way for women in government even after failing to appoint a single woman to his 18-member cabinet. He has since made Elham Aminzadeh his first female Vice President for Legal Affairs and reports suggest a female ambassador may be on the horizon.

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