Hardline Conservatives Win Big in Iran Parliamentary Elections

Israel wasn’t the only country having elections. Iran also had parliamentary elections, and in response to the disqualifying of numerous moderate candidates, the United States slapped sanctions on the five Iranian officials responsible for winnowing the field of moderates. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin issued a statement regarding the sanctions, saying, “The Trump administration will not tolerate the manipulation of elections to favor the regime’s malign agenda, and this action exposes those senior regime officials responsible for preventing the Iranian people from freely choosing their leaders.” Reported by i24 News (02/20/20). Read more…

Iranian hardline conservatives hope that anger at Iran’s moderates will drive the conservative vote and allow them to retake parliament. If so, they would be able to curb the power of Iran’s moderate president, Hassan Rouhani. Iranians are angry about government corruption, falling living standards, and political mistakes made by the current government. Reported by The Guardian (02/20/20).Read more…

Concerns that turnout would be low caused Iran’s senior leaders to warn that no-shows for the elections would only encourage U.S. President Donald Trump to increase sanctions against the country. And Iran’s reformist politicians are divided over whether to participate in the elections—those who advocate abstention say the elections are rigged, while those who support voting say the stakes are too high to let the conservatives take the parliament. Reported by The Guardian (02/21/20). Read more…

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said before the elections that “Enemies want to see what the results of the U.S. maximum pressure are.” Khamenei cast his ballot Friday, saying, “Anyone who cares about Iran’s national interests should participate in the election.” Reported by Fox News (02/21/20). Read more…

Despite senior leaderships efforts, turnout was low for the elections, with only about 20 percent of the eligible voters participating. Reported by The Guardian (02/21/20). Read more…

Yet that may have worked in hardliners favor, as they soundly beat moderate candidates winning a landslide victory. Reported by The Guardian (02/22/20). Read more…