Iranian government looks to Michelle Obama as it consolidates more power

The wife of Iran’s president evidently intends to write a book in the spirit of Michelle Obama.

While Iran has no official “first lady” title, President Ebrahim Raisi’s wife reportedly has no problem acting in such a manner, taking her inspiration from the former U.S. first lady.

That’s according to Iran International, a Persian language news television channel based in London which reported on a recent event hosted by Raisi’s wife, Jamileh Alamolhoda. Organizers reportedly said “100 media women from 40 countries” were on hand at the event on the role of women in media, which was held in Alamolhoda’s hometown.

Citing the “moderate” Iranian news website Rouydad24, the news outlet reported that Alamolhoda, who is the daughter of the Supreme Leader’s representative in Razavi Khorasan province, has aspirations to write a book similar to Michelle Obama’s memoir.

“They asked me to write a book similar to this one. I read the book, and it was very beautiful, captivating, and influential,” Alamolhoda said, according to Rouydad24. “I even showed some parts of it to the president, and he said that writing a book in this field is the right thing to do.”

Alamolhoda was introduced by presenters as “Iran’s first lady” whenever she was about to take the stage at the event, according to Iran International.

“However, she started one of the panels of the event addressing the issue, saying that the wife of the Supreme Leader is actually the country’s first lady because Ali Khamenei is the highest authority in Iran,” the outlet further noted.

Hardliners in Iran took exception to the statement, according to the article, rejecting the idea of a “first lady” as a product of Western culture that should not be allowed in “an Islamic society.”

“Are we supposed to mimic these American ideas?” asked the hardliner Telegram channel Bisimchi Media.

Alamolhoda has faced recent criticism “for her double-standard approach about Western culture as she reiterates that Iranian women can best serve the family as a child-bearing housewife, but never misses a chance to accompany her husband on foreign trips,” Iran International noted.

“She keeps denying the existence of the role of the country’s first lady but in practice she follows a Western model for such a role including speaking as such during the UN General Assembly week in New York with global media,” the article said. “She attacks the West’s ideas about women and Western-style feminism in society but has announced that she is eying writing a book similar in style to former US first lady Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming, a number-one best seller in Iran reprinted 37 times.”


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