Iranian President Hassan Rowhani on Sunday expressed pride at the growing number of women in parliament after four female candidates emerged victorious from a second round of elections last week.
"For the first time we have 18 women in parliament, and it is a record that makes us very happy," Rowhani said in Tehran, adding that he hoped more women would get involved in politics.
In the previous parliament, nine of the assembly's 290 members had been women.
Fourteen women won parliamentary seats in the first round of voting in February, and four more were elected in the second round on Friday.
The 18 lawmakers are either members of Rowhani's reformist faction or ran as independent candidates. No woman from the hardline faction managed to win a seat.
Shahindokht Molaverdi, the vice president for women and family affairs, also expressed her delight over the women's success. "This is an enormously important development, which sends a clear message," she told reporters at her office in Tehran on Sunday. Women and reformist candidates would be working to improve women's rights in Iran, she said.
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