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Rouhani Promises To Involve Youth In Government

President Hassan Rouhani has promised to seek out the advice of the country’s youth going forward in his new administration since winning re-election last month.

“The best use of the intellectual potential and ideas of the younger generation is one of the goals of my next administration,” he said on June 11, referring to the older age of most Iranian officials.

His cabinet has approved a resolution to employ 2,000 young Iranian elites as assistants and consultants in different ministries and other government institutions.

“The young generation should come onstage to help address problems and build a better future,” Rouhani said. “All of the authorities in Iran are in the last decades of their lives. [Therefore] the future decades belong to the youth.”

He also promised to appoint more women to senior posts.

Earlier, in his first news conference after winning the presidential election, Rouhani had promised to form a younger government in his second term as president.

“I have ordered the Administrative and Employment Affairs Organization to plan on making the whole government five years younger.”

Rouhani claimed that in his first cabinet, “critical conditions” forced him to offer certain ministry positions to older officials -- posts he said they “quite reluctantly” accepted only because of the requirements of “emergency and crises.”

Speaking at an Iftar (breaking fast) ceremony with youth and students in Tehran, Rouhani again took the chance to praise the role of women and the younger generation in his re-election.

“The May 19 election set the stage for the voices of women and the younger generation to be heard,” he said in his first news conference since the election.

He also called for more women to be employed in managerial positions.

Without going into detail, Rouhani said three women had been hired for “important” top managerial posts at the Management and Planning Organization.

Several MPs and political activists had already called on Rouhani to create more space for women in his second government.

His deputy for women and family affairs, Shahindokht Molaverdi, said she expected Rouhani would appoint two or three women to ministerial posts.

Rouhani aide Mohammad Ali Najafi, also said the change in his boss’ new government would be up to 50 percent.

Showing his dissatisfaction with ethnic, gender, and political discrimination in Iran, Rouhani implicitly referred to the conservatives and other close allies of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

“There are people who cannot raise the level of their tolerance,” he said. “If we want our country to progress, we must increase our tolerance and recognize each other’s ideas.”