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Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei casts his ballot in parliamentary elections Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei casts his ballot in parliamentary elections, in Tehran, Feb. 21, 2020 (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader photo via AP Images).

Having Retaken Parliament, Iran’s Hard-Liners Are Poised for Political Dominance

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Iran’s parliamentary elections last month were an unmitigated success for conservatives and hard-liners. Aided by unprecedented low turnout and the disqualification of thousands of their opponents, they won 221 of the legislature’s 290 seats, while reformists and moderates took only 19—down from 121 in the 2016 elections.

The outcome profoundly changed the balance of power in Tehran, which will have serious repercussions for Iran’s domestic and foreign policies. Forces loyal to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei are now well-positioned to consolidate power over Iran’s governing institutions and likely win the presidency in 2021, when Hassan Rouhani, a centrist who was first elected on a platform of reform in 2013, will be term-limited and unable to run for reelection. ...

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