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

Aztelekom develops project to improve quality of services in Azerbaijani districts
Aztelekom develops project to improve quality of services in Azerbaijani districts
Brazil central bank chief says WhatsApp payments service faces further review
Brazil central bank chief says WhatsApp payments service faces further review
Alibaba Cloud announces business expansion in Southeast Asia
Alibaba Cloud announces business expansion in Southeast Asia
Loading Bars
Latest
Azerbaijan to partake in talks over Energy Charter Treaty's modernization (PHOTO)
Turkmenistan to build new plants for mineral fertilizer production
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for July 4
Georgia sees increase in prices of real estate for rent in suburbs
Suicide car bomber hits checkpoint at Somalia's Mogadishu port
Shell CEO does not rule out moving headquarters to Britain
Fitch Ratings: Growth in Azerbaijan's insurance sector depends on regulated tariffs
Weekly review of Azerbaijan's precious metals market (June 26-July 3)
Oil transportation via Ceyhan-Kirikkale pipeline through Turkey up
Lithuania considers transport co-op with Kazakhstan among top priorities
Samarkand Automobile Plant in Uzbekistan to produce ambulances
Uzbekistan increases number of refrigerated cargo wagons
Indonesia reports 1,447 new coronavirus infections
Overall production up in Turkmenistan with major part falling on private sector
China allocates humanitarian aid to Kazakhstan, backing anti-COVID battle
Turkmenistan reveals its oil production data for 1H2020
Iran's government stays committed to raising production
Uzbekistan receiving humanitarian aid from US charities
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market (June 26-July 3)
Azerbaijan's Bank BTB increases its total liabilities
Georgian municipality reveals volume of potato harvest
India coronavirus cases hit record high amid monsoon rains
Litzenberger: US, Azerbaijan share important partnership (VIDEO)
Russia's coronavirus cases near 675,000, death toll passes 10,000
Australia's Victoria reports 108 new coronavirus cases, biggest jump since March
UNEC brand was also known in Estonia
Uzbekistan to direct IDA's loan on urgent COVID-19-response measures
Least attractive Kazakh economy sectors for French companies revealed
Turkmenistan's cargo transportation for 1H2020 revealed
Turkmenistan's GDP increases in 1H2020
Tokyo new coronavirus infections over 100 for third day
Seven police hurt in violence at London music event
Europe to supply Asian countries with olive products through Georgia
Georgia reports new cases of coronavirus
Brazil health regulator Anvisa allows Chinese COVID-19 vaccine trial
Kazakhstan's import of Canada-made goods nearly twofold down
Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 42 times
Azerbaijan's SOCAR Polymer planning to produce next polypropylene batch
Aeromexico shares rise for second day despite missed debt payment
Kazakhstan’s oil producing company to buy pipes via tender
Kyrgyzstan’s COVID-19 cases reach 7,094
Kazakhstan confirms 1,644 new coronavirus cases over past 24 hours
Israeli PM asks citizens to follow COVID-19 restrictions due to surge in morbidity
Air France set to cut more than 7,500 jobs
Turkey nearly halves leather export to Uzbekistan
Iran cuts import of electrical goods from Turkey
Iran among top three countries in world for caviar producing, sturgeon farming
Brazil reports over 1.5 mln COVID-19 cases, with 63,174 deaths
Geostat reveals producer price indices for services in Georgia
Chinese mainland reports 3 new confirmed COVID-19 cases
Japan's Cokey Systems talks its activities in Uzbekistan
4 dead in small plane crash in Utah mountains
Global coronavirus cases rise to more than 11 million
4 injured in shooting at shopping mall in U.S. Alabama
U.S. South Carolina reports 20.7 pct positivity rate from new coronavirus tests
Export of Turkish chemicals to Uzbekistan declines
Geostat: Georgia increases fruit exports
Mexican soldiers kill 12 in cartel clash near border
Iran says to announce cause of nuclear facility "incident" at "appropriate time"
4 killed, 108 wounded in fireworks factory blast in NW Turkey: ministers
Brazil set to pass 1.5 million coronavirus cases, cities reopen anyway
Zarif writes to Borrell on EU's noncompliance with JCPOA
WHO sees first results from COVID drug trials within two weeks
Number of job seekers from Turkey to Kazakhstan increasing
Spain registers rise in new COVID-19 cases in past week
Saudi-led coalition intercepts 4 bomb-laden drones
Switzerland to open borders for Georgian citizens from July 20
Over 400 beat COVID-19 in Kazakhstan
Turkey reports 1,172 new COVID-19 cases, 203,456 in total
Official talks use of RES by private companies in Kazakhstan's Karaganda
Pakistani foreign minister tests positive for COVID-19
Hungary's parliament adopts 2021 budget
Israel reports 1,008 new COVID-19 cases, 28,055 in total
Russia leading among importers of Azerbaijani fruit, vegetables
Azerbaijan launches pilot project for breeding highly productive species of livestock
TPAO to continue conducting oil, gas exploration in 2 Turkish provinces
TABIB discloses number of infected people in Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic
Assistant to Azerbaijani president: List of spheres affected by pandemic to be amended
TABIB: Azerbaijan begins to conduct serologic tests
Georgian National Bank takes measures to support tourism sector
Assistant to Azerbaijani president: Those infected people who leave houses - criminally liable
Turkmen company plans to increase harvest of vegetables
Central Bank of Azerbaijan to hold deposit auction
Five-month cargo shipment volume via Turkish Mersin port disclosed
Turkey bans entrance of Kazakhs as anti-COVID quarantine extended
Fitch estimates Georgia Global Utilities regulated water revenue
Aztelekom develops project to improve quality of services in Azerbaijani districts
Kazakhstan starts exporting locomotives to Moldova
PETRONAS Carigali in Turkmenistan opens tender for purchase of high-speed ship
Azerbaijan records growth in export of its products to Switzerland
Erdogan: Some countries' statements on Hagia Sophia - direct interference in Turkey's internal affairs
Data on maritime cargo transshipment from US via ports of Turkey announced
Plastic cards number grows in Kazakhstan year-on-year
Info on cargo shipment from Iran via Turkish ports disclosed
Daimler's Mercedes-Benz to streamline global production network
Georgian citizens traveling to Latvia not be placed under mandatory quarantine
Azerbaijan Hotel Association eyes restoring work in post-pandemic period
Russia's Tatneft opens tender for construction, installation work in Turkmenistan
Iran's export to Kuwait declines
Oil demand won’t get back to pre-crisis growth trend for some years
All news