Ebtekar Upbeat on Foreign Ties

Ebtekar Upbeat on Foreign TiesEbtekar Upbeat on Foreign Ties

A vice president expressed hope that the recent nuclear deal with major powers would enable Iran to effect considerable improvement in its international relations and perform its regional role more effectively.  

"We very much hope to be able to establish logical and fair relations with all countries so that we can change the situation and witness positive developments both in Iran-US ties and, also, in terms of the role Iran can play in the entire region," Masoumeh Ebtekar, who also serves as head of the Department of Environment, said in an interview with Euronews on Friday. The international agreement with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) will remove sanctions against Tehran in exchange for temporary limits on its nuclear program.

  Remarkable Presence

On the prospects for women to work their way up to the highest levels of political decision-making in Iran, just as she did, Ebtekar said, "We've progressed well over the past 37 years in many areas such as the participation of women in society. For example, in the area of education, the presence of Iranian women at different levels of higher education is remarkable."

"In terms of political participation…, in general, now particularly in the eleventh government [the administration of President Hassan Rouhani] since the [1979 Islamic] Revolution, a lot more attention is being paid to women."

Asked to comment on the 1979 hostage-taking at the US Embassy, Ebtekar, who was among the students who stormed the US mission, said, "What happened in 1979 was the result of a long period of US intervention in Iran. At that time, students were very worried that an event similar to the 1953 coup against the popular government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq would be repeated."

"In fact, they were very worried that history could repeat itself and that was probably why they took action to prevent those events."

  Free Election

In response to a question about the upcoming parliamentary election, scheduled for February 26, 2016, the vice president said the Rouhani government plans to hold a free election by ensuring that the Constitution is upheld in its entirety.

"I believe the president has said many times that the government is determined to hold free elections…. There are, of course, challenges but like in any other country, we have differences of opinion and the government respects each and every one of those people."

"We consider this a great opportunity, provided that it is done in the framework of the law. The law has the final say, and our president is himself a lawyer. Evidently, with this view on the issue, and with the approach that the government has taken, we very much hope that we can hold fair elections in Iran."