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The tumbling turban: Who is behind attacks on Reformists in Iran?

Protesters have disrupted a number of speeches and gatherings by Reformist groups in Iran, indicating some of the candidates could have a tough time in the upcoming elections.
Supporters of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shout slogans against presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, after Friday prayers in Tehran May 29, 2009. Iranians vote on June 12 in an election that pits hardline President Ahmadinejad against two moderate challengers and one fellow conservative.    REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi (IRAN POLITICS ELECTIONS) - RTXOX0Y

As Iran’s disparate political entities begin to lobby and organize for the 2016 parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections, attacks on Reformist gatherings portend a challenging path for a decimated group that hopes to return to power.

A significant factor in the election of moderate President Hassan Rouhani in 2013 was the overwhelming support he received from prominent Reformist figures. While many of them supported Rouhani in hopes of ending the policies of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — by denying hard-line Saeed Jalili the presidency — others hoped to enter political office themselves, taking advantage of Rouhani’s election promise of a more open political climate. However, attacks on Reformist gatherings by protesters appear to be dashing these hopes.

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