Moderates Strike Back in Iran: Imperatives for the International Community

Dr. M. Mahtab Alam Rizvi is Associate Fellow at Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile.
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  • July 2016

    The results of the most recent Parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections in Iran indicate that Iranians are increasingly unhappy with the conservative establishment in the country. The Reformists or moderates and pro-Rouhani group of ‘Hope’ secured a majority in the Assembly of Experts and also won more seats than their rival conservatives or Principlists in the Majlis or parliament. The elections for the two bodies were held on February 26, 2016. After almost a decade, the conservatives lost their majority in parliament, and for the first time since the establishment of the Islamic Republic, they have been badly defeated in the higher and powerful clerical body, the Assembly of Experts. The conservatives lost their majority in the house at a crucial time, when there is a high degree of speculation that this Assembly would have a decisive role in choosing the new Supreme Leader of the country. The most surprising results came from Tehran, where Reformists and their allies won all the 30 seats in parliament. Most of the parliamentarians who strongly opposed the nuclear deal and were sceptical about the final outcome, failed to retain their seats in the new Majlis. Iranians have reposed their confidence and support in Rouhani’s government and sent out a strong reply to conservatives who called the nuclear negotiator team a ‘compromiser’.