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Iran’s parliamentary elections a vote on Rouhani's economy

Iranians head to the polls Feb. 21, with Reformists largely sidelined, to elect their 11th parliament since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
A woman walks past parliamentary election campaign posters in Tehran, Iran February 19, 2020. Picture taken February 19, 2020. WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Nazanin Tabatabaee via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. - RC2I4F99WETN

The elections for Iran’s 11th parliament since the 1979 Islamic Revolution will take place Feb. 21, a day when most people do not have to work. With many well-known Reformists barred from running, the vote will ultimately be a contest between conservative and hard-line candidates, both of whom will likely work overtime to undo the policies of moderate President Hassan Rouhani.

Headlining the list of conservatives is former Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, an Iran-Iraq War veteran, former police chief and former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) air force. Ghalibaf’s 12 years as mayor (2005-17) were mostly without major controversy, with the exception of a real estate scandal in which members of the city council were accused of handing prime real estate to family members at a discount. The scandal quickly disappeared, however, with the arrest of the journalist who broke the story. 

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