Huffington Post Media Group; The Berggruen Institute on Governance
After watching the Academy Award-winning film Argo last week, I was reminded of a meeting I had in Brisbane Australia in 2006 at the "Earth Dialogues' event organized by Mikhal Gorbachev. Two prominent Iranian women were chief guests at this event and hailed from very different parts of the political spectrum: Nobel laureate human rights activist Shirin Ebadi, and the former Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Masoumeh Ebtekar (the first woman to hold such a high rank within the Islamic republic). They were invited to this event together, despite their political differences on Iran's governance trajectory, because the organizers were interested in seeking how environmental issues could lead to convergent conversations.
During the presidency of Iranian President Muhammad Khatamai (1997-2005), who was considered a reformer within the parameters of sharia, Ebtekar's ascendancy to the vice presidency was seen as a sign of gradual transformation of the theocratic republic. Yet, viewers of the film Argo will remember her in other terms...