Iran Focus: London, Mar. 04 Her husbands name is instantly recognised around the world, but hardly any one beyond a close circle of friends and relatives has heard her name. She is Irans First Lady, Mrs. Ahmadinejad.
London, Mar. 04 – Her husband’s name is instantly recognised around the world, but hardly any one beyond a close circle of friends and relatives has heard her name. She is Iran’s First Lady, Mrs. Ahmadinejad.
From Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to Bernadette Chirac, glamour and grace are the words that public appearances by first ladies, past and present, usually evoke. Not so in theocratic Iran, where the constitution defines the woman’s main mission to be “the rearing of ideologically committed human beings”.
Iranians have hardly caught a glimpse of Mrs. Ahmadinejad, and her first and maiden names rigorously resisted exposure after an hour of determined Googling in Persian and English. In the President’s official biography and website, there is no reference to Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad being married, let alone to his wife. One ultraconservative website reports in Persian that the President married a mechanical engineering student in Tehran’s University of Science and Technology in 1980, when he was 24 – you would have to guess her age – and that he has three children.
This week, finally, Iran’s First Lady made a rare public appearance while accompanying her controversy-friendly spouse to Kuala Lumpur, where he held talks with Malaysian leaders.
Here are some of the images taken by photographers from Iran’s state-run news agencies, who had to try hard to find the right angle.