Last year, a news report that allegedly said Iranian women training as “ninja assassins” was at the center of a row that saw the news agency Reuters suspended in Iran, and a court case prosecuting the head of the agency's bureau in the country. We know now that the women in the report were practitioners of ninjutsu, a martial art that is becoming increasingly popular among Iranian women.
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Jaafar Towfiqi, a former minister of science, research and technology, was chief campaigner for former presidential candidate Mohammad-Reza Aref. After the parliament rejected President Hassan Rouhani’s choice for his old portfolio, Jaafar Meili-Monfared, in Aughust, Towfiqi was named caretaker minister, taking over the ministry responsible not just for scientific research, but also most of Iran’s universities. This article has been published by Asharq Al-Awsat.