Ahmadinejad's Feminist Foil

Dr. Zahra Rahnavard, 64, has done what none of Ahmadinejad's three male presidential challengers have dared: She attacked the president during what The Times of London called a "90-minute finger-wagging tour de force." Rahnavard, wife to Mir Hossein Mousavi, Ahmadinejad's most serious competition in Friday's elections, demanded an apology from the president after he publicly questioned her considerable academic credentials last week. She also vowed to sue him if he did not apologize within 24 hours. In a move that will enrage conservatives but please the female and young urban voting bloc, she also condemned Ahmadinejad's policies toward women. During her speech, the Times reports, "She accused Ahmadinejad of humiliating not just her, but all Iranian women and of seeking to block their progress and deny them higher education. She said that he had violated his constitutional duty to defend the rights of all Iranians, and brought shame on his office."