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Rouhani Admin Aims To Change Discriminatory Citizenship Law

Women wave Iranian national flags as they attend President Hassan Rouhani's public speech in Bandar Kangan, Iran March 17, 2019

Iran’s first vice president has announced that the government has sent a draft bill to parliament to allow children born to Iranian mothers to obtain citizenship.

Currently, children of Iranian fathers can obtain citizenship, while the offspring of women married to non-Iranians cannot receive Iranian passports.

Vice president Es’haq Jahangiri in announcing the government’s proposal mentioned Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian-born professor who in 2014 became the first woman to win the Fields Medal, the most prestigious international mathematical prize.

Mirzakhani a Harvard graduate and a professor at Stanford, died in July 2017 after a hard battle with cancer and in her will she expressed hope that her daughter can one day receive Iranian citizenship.

Jahangiri said that “as a sign of respect to Iranian women we have sent a draft bill to parliament” to allow children of Iranian mother obtain citizenship.

However, a British-Iranian mother of a small child, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe who was arrested in Iran in 2016 still languishes in prison on dubious "spying" charges.

In many Muslim countries, only the children of male citizens can obtain the citizenship of their fathers’ country and women married to foreigners cannot pass on the citizenship right to their children.

After Mirzakhani’s death, lawmakers did present a similar bill to parliament, but it was never approved.