In the background of the angry shouting that kicked off Iran's election riots last year, Iranian anti-riot policewoman Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei enjoys a cigarette and a cigarette break. A far cry from the slick, hardline politician many Iranians have come to loathe, the image suggests the 22-year-old is quite well-adjusted.
Now Mashaei is attracting more attention for her professional record as well.
WATCH: Mashaei and other bloggers respond to this video of her smoking pic.twitter.com/QRrRO3iPoo — Qomsina () January 21, 2016
A tweet of a video of Mashaei smoking at the height of the election protests, which quickly went viral, shows her calmly taking a drag of a cigarette while wearing sunglasses. Since Mashaei's name appeared in reports on Iranian state television, however, bloggers have reported she has a lengthy background in secular politics.
Mashaei, a self-proclaimed socialist, was also the spokesperson for a charity run by the Libyan Quraish party, which is supported by the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, according to Al Jazeera.
She also served as an executive at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.
OAG reported Mashaei was also at Oxford University and at Cambridge University, where she studied art and Persian.