News / Middle East

    Khamenei Praises Iran Vote, Urges Focus on National Interests

    Election officials count ballot papers after the close of polling stations during elections for the parliament and a leadership body called the Assembly of Experts, which has the power to appoint and dismiss the supreme leader, in Tehran, Feb. 26, 2016.
    Election officials count ballot papers after the close of polling stations during elections for the parliament and a leadership body called the Assembly of Experts, which has the power to appoint and dismiss the supreme leader, in Tehran, Feb. 26, 2016.
    VOA News

    Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on those elected to parliament and the important Assembly of Experts to act in the interests of Iran and stand against the influence of outsiders.

    Final results from Saturday's election are expected Monday or Tuesday, but unofficial tallies show reformists and moderates winning all 30 parliamentary seats in the capital, Tehran, in what would be a resounding vote of confidence for President Hassan Rouhani.  Hardliners were poised to lose considerable ground in the 290-seat legislature, but were winning areas outside of major cities.

    Iran is emerging from years of international sanctions imposed because of allegations it was working to develop nuclear weapons.

    The state-run IRNA news agency quoted Khamenei saying development is the country's top goal.

    "Nominal development without independence or national dignity is not accepted," he said.

    'Time to open a new chapter'

    IRNA quoted Rouhani saying Saturday 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 quoted him as saying.

    The president made last year's nuclear agreement with a group of world powers a key objective of his administration and the outcome could be interpreted as a comment on the level of support for his policies.

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

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

    • 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.

    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.

    Large turnout

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

    Polls remained open much later than scheduled, in some cases. State television showed long lines both in Tehran and in polling places around the country.

    About 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.

    You May Like

    Syrian Rebel Realignment Likely as al-Qaida Leader Blesses Split

    Jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra splits from al-Qaida in what observers dub a ‘deception and denial’ exercise

    New India Child Labor Law Could Make Children More Vulnerable

    Concerns that allowing children to work in family enterprises will push more to work

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    From fast-food restaurants to pizza delivery, the history of take-out food explains a lot about the changes taking place in society

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Alex from: USA
    February 29, 2016 10:20 AM
    This is Islamic style democracy which endorses only terrorism activities and the destruction of Jewish State.

    by: Baba from: islamabad
    February 28, 2016 11:44 PM
    a pleasant restart after long spell of negative attitude developed by so called narrow minded conservators still pushing the nation in dark age. Hope the new intake help to free the confined leadership and the activists jailed by Ahmed Nayad.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora