News / Middle East

    Reformists in Lead as Iran's Parliamentary Vote Counting Continues

    An Iranian woman casts her ballot during elections for the parliament and Assembly of Experts, which has the power to appoint and dismiss the supreme leader, in Tehran, Feb. 26, 2016.
    An Iranian woman casts her ballot during elections for the parliament and Assembly of Experts, which has the power to appoint and dismiss the supreme leader, in Tehran, Feb. 26, 2016.
    Edward Yeranian

    Iran continues to count votes Sunday from its parliamentary election, with final results in most races expected Monday.

    Partial results indicate major gains for reformists and moderates who favor engagement with the West.

    President Hassan Rouhani and former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani are also leading the race for membership in the Assembly of Experts. The influential body monitors the work of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on Iran's foreign policy, and could choose the next supreme leader.

    Partial results point to hardliners losing ground in the 290-seat legislature. For Tehran's 30 seats, initial results released by the government showed at least 26 reformists among the front-runners.  

    Iran's official media on Saturday quoted Rouhani as saying the election has given the government more credibility and clout.

    "The competition is over. It's time to open a new chapter in Iran's economic development based on domestic abilities and international opportunities," the official IRNA news agency reported him as saying.

    Election test of nuclear deal

    The vote was the first election since the country's nuclear deal with world powers took effect.

    The final results may provide the first clue as to whether key Western proponents of the deal will receive what they hoped for; a more open, moderate Iran.

    The outcome could be interpreted as a comment on the level of support for the policies of Rouhani, who is up for re-election next year. Rouhani has made the nuclear agreement a key objective of his administration.

    Iranians hold their identification cards as they line up outside a polling station at Massoumeh shrine during the parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections at a polling station in the holy city of Qom, Feb. 26, 2016.
    Iranians hold their identification cards as they line up outside a polling station at Massoumeh shrine during the parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections at a polling station in the holy city of Qom, Feb. 26, 2016.

    Voting for future

    Iranian State TV called Friday a “great day for the nation,” as citizens across the country turned out to vote for the country's parliament and the Guardian Council, which selects Iran's Supreme Leader.

    State TV showed voters across Iran giving their reasons for their choices.  A man with a young child said he was “voting for his children's future,” while an older woman said she wanted to “foil Iran's enemies, who are plotting against the country.”

    A correspondent for Iran's Al Alam TV at a major Tehran polling station said turnout was “beyond expectations,” and that “long lines of voters had shown up,” to “express their support for their country and its Islamic system.”

    An Iranian woman displays her ink-stained finger after voting in the parliamentary and Experts Assembly elections at a polling station in Qom, Feb. 26, 2016.
    An Iranian woman displays her ink-stained finger after voting in the parliamentary and Experts Assembly elections at a polling station in Qom, Feb. 26, 2016.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Political analyst Mohamed Ali Mirzani told the TV Iranian electors like to vote at odds to the way foreign countries want them to vote in order to quash threats posed from abroad.  He said voters know their participation is important in deciding the fate of their country.

    Large turnout

    Newspapers reported a huge turnout at the polls Friday, including many young voters.

    Polls had been scheduled to close at 6:00 p.m., but remained open much later in some cases. State television showed long lines both in Tehran and in polling places around the country.

    Some 55 million Iranians were registered to cast ballots for members of the conservative-dominated 290-seat parliament as well as the 88-member Assembly of Experts.

    • Iranians stand in line at a polling station during the parliamentary and Experts Assembly elections in Qom, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016.
    • Iranian women stand in line at a polling station during the parliamentary and Experts Assembly elections in Qom, 125 kilometers (78 miles) south of the capital Tehran, Iran, Feb. 26, 2016.
    • An Iranian man and a woman check the names of candidates from the list before voting for the parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections at a polling station in the holy city of Qom, 130kms south of the capital Tehran, Feb. 26, 2016.
    • In this photo released by official website of the office of Iranian Presidency, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani addresses election officials in Tehran, Jan. 21, 2016.
    • Iranian voters, left, arrive at a polling station to vote for their country's parliamentary and Experts Assembly elections as election staff receive them in Tehran, Iran, Feb. 26, 2016.
    • An Iranian woman casts her ballot during elections for the parliament and Assembly of Experts, which has the power to appoint and dismiss the supreme leader, in Tehran, Feb. 26, 2016.
    • Iran's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani votes in the parliamentary and Experts Assembly elections at a polling station in Qom, Feb. 26, 2016.
    • An Iranian woman displays her ink-stained finger after voting in the parliamentary and Experts Assembly elections at a polling station in Qom, Feb. 26, 2016.
    • Iran's former Parliament speaker Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri fills in his ballot during elections for the parliament and Assembly of Experts, in Tehran, Feb. 26, 2016.
    • Iranians vote in the parliamentary and Experts Assembly elections at a polling station in Qom, 125 kilometers (78 miles) south of the capital Tehran, Iran, Feb. 26, 2016.
    • Iranian former vice president and candidate for parliamentary election Mohammad Reza Aref and his wife show their ink-stained fingers after casting their ballots during elections for the parliament and Assembly of Experts, in Tehran, Feb. 26, 2016.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: AHMED from: INDIA
    February 26, 2016 8:53 PM
    USA & Europe must support democracy.
    At least there is election on regular basis in Iran and Syria.
    But there is no election in Saudi Arab, Bahrain, Kuwait, Uae, Qatar and Oman. Even then USA & Europe support dictators as to achieve their goals. Because these countries are Masters in taking Dictation without any hesitation.

    by: Sohrab from: Tehran, Iran
    February 26, 2016 2:30 PM
    In recent years, after the implementation of western democracy and human rights in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lybia, and most recently, Syria, and especially after the USA imposed indiscriminate sanctions against both Iranian government and civilian population, Iranian people lost their faith in the west and many increasingly believe that the western way of governing and statesmanship is not a good example for Iran.
    In Response

    by: Sohrab from: Tehran, Iran
    February 27, 2016 8:01 AM
    @Marcus Aurelius II NJ USA
    Iranian government is absolutely more skillful than the US and Israeli governments in driving other countries to the hell of fire and blood, but, morally it's not acceptable for them and Iranian people to let such things which only produces blind hate against our nation.
    In Response

    by: williweb from: Phoenix Arizona USA
    February 26, 2016 9:05 PM
    Islamic Republic of Iran, that says it all. No constitution, just the koran to dictate everything.
    In Response

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    February 26, 2016 8:39 PM
    These nations were attacked because they were judged to be a threat to the security of the United States. Their murderous dictators were eliminated along with their despotic governments. They were given a chance to become prosperous inclusive democracies. That they threw those chances away due to political corruption, tribal wars, theological prejudice was their own doing. Iran and North Korea are also perceived as potential threats to the United States. If that view sways the US government sufficiently it will use whatever force is necessary to eliminate those governments too no matter what the consequences. No one should be in any doubt. To credibly threaten the United States is to commit suicide. Iran's government is playing with fire. There are many in the US who would have eliminated it a long time ago. It could still happen.

    by: Sohrab from: Tehran, Iran
    February 26, 2016 2:19 PM
    Although ethnically and religiously Iran is one of the most diverse countries in the world (we have Shia, Sunni, Christian, Zoroastrian, and even one reserved seat for Jews in our parliament) and while most of our neighbors are burning in flames, be it Afghanistan and Pakistan on the east, or Iraq, Turkey and Syria on the west, we have one of the most secure and stable countries in the world. That's why recently Iranians never think about an alternative for this government.
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    February 26, 2016 8:55 PM
    Hey Sohrab _ The greatest threat to all the Sunni Muslim countries, kingdoms and emirates is free democratic elections, because every leader of any Sunni Muslim country, kingdom or emirate would be ousted from power now? .. Freedom and democracy would destroy all the Sunni Muslim Sharia Islamic law governed countries, kingdoms and emirates? .. Why do you think they oppose Syria, [it's because of their free democratic elections, and that's why they support the terrorists to overthrow Syria to stop those elections? .. Think about it?

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    February 26, 2016 2:06 PM
    Every Republican candidate has pledged that if elected he will tear up Obama's nuclear deal with Iran on the first day. The US still has the economic might by itself to crush Iran, Russia, China, anyone. Majorities in both houses of Congress are champing at the bit to enact legislation that would do exactly that. Those majorities are also Republicans but there are Democrats who agree with them too.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora