Working with moderates-vital for Iranian reformists

Working with moderates-vital for Iranian reformists

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 26

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

Taken out of Iran 's political arena for years, it is hard for reformists to return to the decision-making centers in the Islamic Republic.

During the last presidential election in Iran (June 2013), reformist groups such as Participation Front and Islamic Revolution Mojahedin Organization supported Hassan Rouhani, who eventually won the election.

Rouhani's win actually was a result of unannounced coalition of reformists and moderates against eight years of hardliners domination in the country.

After Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took office in 2005 reformists gradually were expelled from important governmental posts. The main reformist parties were even banned after the 2009 disputed presidential election protests and influential reformist figures were jailed.

Despite their decisive role in Rouhani's victory, reformists did not receive their expected share in the government. There were some speculations that Mohammad Reza Aref, who withdrew from the presidential race in favor of Rouhani, would be appointed as vice-president. But it did not happen and Rouhani preferred to appoint a moderate politician as his vice-president, a significant sign that the Islamic Republic's solid political arena is not yet ready to see reformists at top governmental posts.

But what are the differences between the two political wings? If we want to summarize, it can be explained by their stance towards political and economic development. Political development is a priority for reformists while moderates emphasize economic development.

Reformists, themselves understand that they have no choice but to work with moderates.

Famous reformist politicians including Aref have underlined that reformists and moderates should form a coalition in upcoming parliamentary election (February 2016). Their main strategy is based on sending more moderate-reformist MPs to parliament, making the number of hardliners as few as possible.

Conservatives have held a majority in Iranian parliament since 2004, when they overturned a reformist majority. Changing this will not be easy since the Guardian Council, a powerful conservative body, qualifies the candidates.

In 2004 parliamentary election the Council disqualified about 4,000 reformist hopefuls, including 80 sitting members.

The Council has announced on various occasions that it will not approve the candidates who were connected with riots following the 2009 presidential elections, which means famous reformist politicians have no chance to enter the parliamentary race. To overcome the barrier, the Iranian reformists may try their chance with infamous, less known figures.

Rouhani's administration has taken successful steps in foreign policy and economic issues. More than a decade old nuclear dispute is resolved and inflation has decreased from 40 percent to 13 percent under Rouhani's government. But the moderate president has failed to fulfill campaign promises to allow greater freedom of expression and release of political prisoners which makes his reformist supporters dissatisfied.

However settling the nuclear case is a major achievement, enough to bring significant victory for Rouhani's allies in the parliamentary race.

We may also see Aref, the reformists' most important figure who can pass the Guardian council barrier as parliament speaker next year, but they will not be able to come out of the moderates' shadow at least in the short term.

They have established a new political party- Union of Islamic Iran People Party- thanks to Rouhani. However the party is accused of being a "front" for the banned Islamic Iran Participation Front, which confirms how difficult it will be for reformists to overcome obstacles in their political activities.

Edited by CN

Umid Niayesh is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @UmidNiayesh

Uzbekistan to commission its first solar power plant in September
Uzbekistan to commission its first solar power plant in September
Uzbekistan, Turkey strengthen trade, economic co-op
Uzbekistan, Turkey strengthen trade, economic co-op
Turkish electrical goods' 1Q2021 export to Uzbekistan spikes
Turkish electrical goods' 1Q2021 export to Uzbekistan spikes
Loading Bars
Latest
Cargo movements in Iran’s Anzali port soar
Saudi-led coalition intercepts explosive-laden drones launched by Yemen's Houthis
Israeli scientists discover way to block spread of brain cancer
Weekly review of Azerbaijan's oil and gas sector
5 IS militants killed in airstrike in Iraq
South Korean PM arrives in Tehran
Kyrgyzstan's referendum on new Constitution takes place, turnout was 36.75%
Turkey to emerge from auto chip crisis through local production
Trend, Kabar news agencies talk joint projects, agree to expand co-op
Iran's Saipa Group declares its manufacturing data
Uzbekistan to commission its first solar power plant in September
Exports from Iran's Isfahan Province decreases
Iran - among major countries in terms of diversity in nuclear industry
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price still falling
Cargo transportation via Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway in Q1 2021 increases
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on April 12
Pakistan extends full support for reconstruction of Azerbaijani liberated lands - expert
Northeastern Iranian Prov exports $3b non-oil products
Kazakhstan reveals plans on rising petrochemicals production
Int'l community should be involved in restoration of Azerbaijani liberated lands - expert
Azerbaijani FM takes part in round table organized by ADA University (PHOTO)
Europe needs a more ambitious COVID recovery plan, says France's Beaune
Azerbaijan publishes latest data on vaccinated citizens
Local elections and referendum in Kyrgyzstan: Voting ends
NCDC Head: Georgia's epidemiological situation deteriorates
Turkey successfully tests hybrid rocket engine for moon mission
Azerbaijan confirms 2,414 more COVID-19 cases, 1,695 recoveries
Africa's COVID-19 cases pass 4.34 mln: Africa CDC
Those who ordered missile strikes on Ganja are responsible for war crimes - top official
Glad to see that Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is over - Hungarian official
Khazar Consortium in Turkmenistan opens tender for plumbing materials purchase
Azerbaijan showed great heroism during Karabakh war - Turkish Presidential Administration rep (Exclusive) (VIDEO)
Iran - one of radioactive drugs exporters
Turkey names 2M2021 volume of cargo shipment via local ports from Ukraine
Visit of Turkic Council’s delegation to Azerbaijan’s Ganja city starts (PHOTO)
Goal of Turkic Council’s delegation's visit to Aghdam was to see Armenian savagery - Assistant to president
Azerbaijan's Aghdam - clear example of urbicide, says top official (PHOTO)
UAE selects first Arab woman for astronaut training
Azerbaijan moving to new stage of its development – Uzbek Information and Mass Communications Agency rep
Turkmenistan Railways opens tender for purchase of material, technical resources
Cargo movements in Iran’s Bushehr port grow
Kazakhstan’s Vagonservice company opens tender to buy oil filters
Situation in Azerbaijan’s Aghdam district - unprecedented barbarism - Turkish Presidential Administration rep (VIDEO)
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for April 11
Indonesia's 6.1-magnitude quake leaves 8 deaths
Delegation of Turkic Council reviews building of Aghdam Drama Theater destroyed by Armenians (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani Finance Ministry to auction mid-term government bonds
Russia reports over 8,700 daily COVID-19 cases
Turkmen company exports batch of formwork sheets to Turkey
Delegation of Turkic Council visits Azerbaijan’s Aghdam Juma Mosque (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Delegation of Turkic Council visits Imarat cemetery destroyed by Armenians (PHOTO/VIDEO)
President Ilham Aliyev plays very important consolidating role in Turkic Council - SecGen (EXCLUSIVE)
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange disclosed
Georgia reports 707 coronavirus cases, 592 recoveries, 8 deaths
Uzbekistan, Turkey strengthen trade, economic co-op
Visit of Turkic Council's delegation to liberated Aghdam starts (PHOTO)
Weekly review of Azerbaijani precious metals market
8 rescued, 21 trapped in coal mine accident in Xinjiang
Iran discloses details of exports from industrial parks of Semnan Province
Accident reported at Iran's nuclear facility
Copper ores and concentrates rank first in list of Georgian export
Azerbaijani MoD shows footage from Fuzuli's Ashaghi Rafadinli village (VIDEO)
President of Kyrgyzstan casts vote in local council elections, referendum
India records over 150,000 daily COVID-19 cases, tally at 13,358,805
Saudi-led coalition intercepts Houthi drone
Turkmenistan signs decree on rice production
Number of enterprises put into operation in Iran's Gilan Province revealed
Azerbaijani Gadabay's Executive Office to engage landscaping services via tender
Turkish Airlines to put its 737 Max jets back in the air next week
Kazakh COVID-19 vaccine to be bottled in Turkey
Submarine cable to connect electrical networks of Georgia, Europe to be additional direct channel for telecommunication traffic
IMF, World Bank urged to contain pandemic with fair, efficient distribution of vaccines
South Korean battery makers agree last-minute deal in boost to Biden's EV policy
Egypt, Sudan reject Ethiopian proposal for data sharing on Renaissance dam
Bezos, Musk top Forbes' record-setting billionaire list
Turkey registers more than 52 600 new coronavirus cases
China-Brunei trade grows by over 70 pct in 2020
Argentina's economy minister heads to Europe to woo finance officials over debts
US boosts imports of Turkish-made clothes
Turkey sends off 2nd boron export train to China
First kidney transplant performed in Turkmenistan
Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to fall in Iran
Iran unveils data of gasoline and petrochemicals exports
New transmission line to provide opportunities for both Georgia’s and EU energy network - expert
Weekly review of key events in Azerbaijan's transport sector
China fines Alibaba record $2.75 billion for anti-monopoly violations
Italy reports 344 coronavirus deaths on Saturday, 17,567 new cases
Azercell’s “Kabinetim” mobile app exceeded 1 million downloads
Pakistani FM to visit Tehran
Funeral for UK's Prince Philip to be held on April 17
Pinterest becomes latest platform to appoint Turkey representative
Italy's economy seen growing 4.1% this year
Volume of cargo loaded, unloaded in Iran’s Bandar Lengeh port announced
Turkmenistan’s growth of trade turnover in 1Q2021 announced
Turkish electrical goods' 1Q2021 export to Uzbekistan spikes
Azerbaijani president's assistant talks Turkic Council media co-op's systematization
Hungary considers Turkic Council member states important partners
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on April 11
Uzbekistan ready to actively partake in restoring Azerbaijan's liberated territories
Azerbaijan confirms 2,192 more COVID-19 cases, 1,554 recoveries
All news