Would it help if Iran had a female foreign minister?

Iranians flocked to the polls today to elect one of four men as their next president. Top advisors to one of the candidates, Mehdi Karroubi, a moderate, recently suggested that if he wins (which he likely won’t), he should appoint a female foreign minister. Why? So she would be able to shake hands with Secretary ...

584962_090612_ClintonWirajuda2.jpg
584962_090612_ClintonWirajuda2.jpg

Iranians flocked to the polls today to elect one of four men as their next president. Top advisors to one of the candidates, Mehdi Karroubi, a moderate, recently suggested that if he wins (which he likely won't), he should appoint a female foreign minister. Why? So she would be able to shake hands with Secretary Clinton, something that would be taboo for a man to do.

[Mehdi Karroubi] recently debated with his team the number of cabinet posts women should fill. Mr Karroubi's top advisers lobbied for the Foreign Ministry, speculating that when relations with the US normalise, the new foreign minister could shake hands with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Not all Muslims, though, think it's improper for people of the opposite sex to shake hands. Below, Secretary Clinton shakes hands with Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda, a Muslim, on Feb. 18.

Iranians flocked to the polls today to elect one of four men as their next president. Top advisors to one of the candidates, Mehdi Karroubi, a moderate, recently suggested that if he wins (which he likely won’t), he should appoint a female foreign minister. Why? So she would be able to shake hands with Secretary Clinton, something that would be taboo for a man to do.

[Mehdi Karroubi] recently debated with his team the number of cabinet posts women should fill. Mr Karroubi’s top advisers lobbied for the Foreign Ministry, speculating that when relations with the US normalise, the new foreign minister could shake hands with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Not all Muslims, though, think it’s improper for people of the opposite sex to shake hands. Below, Secretary Clinton shakes hands with Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda, a Muslim, on Feb. 18.

Hillary Clinton, Hassan Wirayuda, Feb. 18, 2009

Hillary Clinton, Hassan Wirayuda, Feb. 18, 2009

Photo: ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP

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