Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has announced that he will appoint three female ministers to his cabinet; a move thought to be a means to appease critics who believe that the Iranian government does not pay enough attention to women's issues.

Though Ahmadinejad claims the nominations are indicative of "a new era," the Associated Press notes that the nominations may also be a means for Ahmadinejad to fend off the continuing criticism by those who still believe his re-election was rigged and not representative of the will of the people.

Two of the ministers have already been named, according to Reuters: Fatemeh Ajorlou, who will serve as social welfare minister, and Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, a professor and gynecologist, who will serve as health minister. A third female minister is expected to be named soon. [AP] [Reuters]