Switzerland Appoints Woman Diplomat to Mission in Tehran

A04981812.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- Switzerland is to be represented by a woman at its embassy in Iran – likely to be the only female ambassador to Tehran.

The appointment of Livia Leu Agosti comes after a visit to Tehran by Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey earlier this year.

The designated ambassador says she considers her appointment as a sign that women can play an important role in a world dominated by men.

Leu said she would wear a headscarf for her diplomatic position in Tehran – in line with Iran’s law.

Several rightwing Swiss politicians have criticized the appointment of Leu – who is to take over from Philippe Welti at the end of the year – and accused the foreign ministry of giving in to pressure by a Muslim country.

An Iran expert at Munich University told the Sonntag newspaper Leu’s appointment was a daring step.

Switzerland has been representing the interests of the United States in Tehran since the 1980 and the interests of Iran in Egypt since 1979.

The United States and Iran broke diplomatic relations in April 1980, after Iranian students seized the United States’ espionage center at its embassy in the heart of Tehran. The two countries have had tense relations ever since.

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