December 18, 2015


Upcoming Iran elections after nuclear deal 'may have consequences for years to come' : The lifting of sanctions is on the horizon, but also parliamentary elections in February 2016. At the same time, Iran is provoking the West with new missile tests. Iran analyst Ali Vaez explains Tehran's strategy. (dEUTSCHE-wELLE, 12/18/15)

The parliamentary elections will take place in February 2016, including elections for the less-known Assembly of Experts. How important is the Assembly of Experts in shaping the future of the country?

The Assembly of Experts is in charge of selecting the supreme leader's successor. Given the fact that Ayatollah Khamenei is 76 years old, and the term of the Assembly of Experts is eight years, the incoming Assembly might well be the one that will choose the person who follows him in the office. And the Iranian political system is designed in such a way that the supreme leader plays an outsized role in determining the country's fate. So the upcoming election of the Assembly of Experts is probably one of the most consequential and important in the history of the Islamic Republic. But the parliamentary election is also quite important, because it will set the stage for the presidential election in 2017. The reality is: if President Rouhani and his allies gain the upper hand in the parliamentary elections, they will be in a better position to challenge other power centers and push forward their agenda. But if the opposite happens, President Rouhani could become a lame duck for the rest of his term in office and might even lose the presidential election. These elections are not only a struggle over the political spoils of the nuclear deal, and because of their long-term consequences, they really go beyond the petty politics of the short run. They might very well have consequences that will be felt in Iran for many years to come. It is really the question of whose vision for the Islamic Republic will eventually prevail.

Posted by at December 18, 2015 12:26 PM