The Islamic Revolution: From the Shah to the
Masoumeh Ebtekar, the highest-ranking woman to serve in the government
of the Islamic Republic of Iran, is vice president for environmental affairs.
For years, she has been active in Iran as a leader of women's rights and
is an immunologist by medical training. When Iranian militants seized
American diplomats as hostages in the US Embassy in 1979, she was the
militants' chief spokesperson.
She agreed to talk with NPQ editor Nathan Gardels in
Switzerland as part of President Mohamad Khatami's appeal for "cultural
dialogue" with the West.
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