• Iran’s 2016 Elections: Change or Continuity?

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    Published June 13, 2016 at 5:16 pm - No Comments IranPolitik managing editor Farzan Sabet has written a new report for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: “Iran’s moderate alliance made gains in recent parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections. Composed of the country’s centrist and reformist political currents, this group refers to itself as moderate in the Iranian context to appeal to voters by painting its rivals as extremists. The new parliament is likely to be more supportive than the last parliament of President Hassan Rouhani on key issues such as the implementation of the nuclear deal with the UN Security Council’s five permanent members plus Germany (P5+1) and Iran’s reintegration into the global economy. The legislature […]

    Iran’s 2016 Elections: Change or Continuity?
  • Interview – 4 reasons Iran’s new parliament is a really big deal

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    Published May 26, 2016 at 9:09 pm - No Comments IranPolitik managing editor Farzan Sabet was recently featured in an article on the 2016 Iranian parliamentary elections in Vox: “But when I spoke with Farzan Sabet, a fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, he cautioned against overstating the significance of pro-Rouhani moderate gains in the parliament. Even with the political capital gained from last year’s nuclear accord, said Sabet, “Rouhani may face a limited consensus on expanding social and political freedoms.” Even though many traditional principalists, such as the current speaker of parliament, Ali Larijani, publicly supported the Rouhani administration’s efforts in securing the nuclear agreement, they don’t agree with the centrists […]

    Interview – 4 reasons Iran’s new parliament is a really big deal
  • Interviews in the Toronto Star, Newsweek, & RFE/RL on the 2016 Iranian Elections

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    Published March 3, 2016 at 7:55 am - No Comments IranPolitik managing editor Farzan Sabet recently spoke to the Toronto Star, Newsweek, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on the 2016 Iranian Elections. See the interviews below: The Star: “In Iran, Friday’s tightly controlled elections will be pivotal for moderates: Analysis” Newsweek: “Iran Elections: Why They Matter” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: “Nine Takeaways From Iran’s Elections”

    Interviews in the Toronto Star, Newsweek, & RFE/RL on the 2016 Iranian Elections
  • Why Iran’s Assembly of Experts election is the real race to be watching

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    Published February 25, 2016 at 2:52 am - No Comments IranPolitik managing editor Farzan Sabet has written a new article on the upcoming Assembly of Experts election in Iran in the Washington Post Monkey Cage: “On Friday, the Islamic Republic of Iran will simultaneously hold votes for the Islamic Consultative Assembly (parliament) and the Assembly of Experts. While the parliament has received more attention, the assembly is arguably more important for Iran’s political future. The elected assembly is widely expected to choose the third supreme leader in the Islamic Republic’s history, decisively shaping its political landscape for the critical coming years.” To read the rest of the article, visit the Washington Post.

    Why Iran’s Assembly of Experts election is the real race to be watching
  • Iran Election Watch 2016: High numbers register to run in parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections

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    Published December 27, 2015 at 12:05 pm - No Comments With the end of registration for aspiring candidates who want to participate in Iran’s upcoming 2016 parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections, Minister of Interior Abdol-Reza Rahmani-Fazli announced a high turnout. According to government figures 12123 people registered for parliamentary elections, over 100 percent more than in the previous 2012 election, while 801 individuals registered for Assembly of Experts elections, an increase of over 62 percent since the last election in 2008. Iran’s parliament, the Islamic Consultative Assembly or “Majlis”, is responsible for legislation. The Assembly of Experts, an 88-person body made up of Islamic jurists, is responsible for selecting the supreme leader, the most powerful position in […]

    Iran Election Watch 2016: High numbers register to run in parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections
  • Interview – Surge in anti-American hostility in Iran is setback for jailed US reporter

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    Published October 23, 2015 at 9:40 pm - No Comments IranPolitik co-founder and managing editor Farzan Sabet recently conducted an interview on the anti-“infiltration” campaign in Iran with the Christian Science Monitor: “Expectations were high that clinching a deal “would automatically enhance Mr. Rouhani’s position to expand social and political freedoms in Iran and resolve other issues in the US-Iran relationship,” says Farzan Sabet, managing editor of the IranPolitik website and Nuclear Security Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford. But those expectations did not take into account that the rare consensus among moderates and conservatives for a nuclear deal was to lift sanctions only, says Mr. Sabet, and does not extend to Rouhani’s […]

    Interview – Surge in anti-American hostility in Iran is setback for jailed US reporter
  • Khamenei v Rouhani: Consensus gives way to discord after the Iran deal

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    Published September 20, 2015 at 9:24 pm - No Comments Nuclear negotiations were one of the few areas of broad consensus among the political elite of the Islamic Republic of Iran. With the nuclear deal in hand, however, underlying tension between moderate and conservative currents in Iran has been increasingly coming to the fore. This tension has manifested in a number of ways, for example in the debate over the role of the Council of Guardians in vetting parliamentary election candidates. Another majour debate has been about the threat of Western, and especially American, penetration of the country and whether the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is uniquely empowered to confront such threats. The latter was a majour […]

    Khamenei v Rouhani: Consensus gives way to discord after the Iran deal
  • Banning of “He Who Said No” and the undermining of Iranian culture

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    Published August 8, 2015 at 8:22 pm - No Comments The withdrawal of Ahmad-Reza Darvish’s “He Who Said No”, an acclaimed film about revered Shi’a figure Imam Hossein, from Iranian cinemas this past week highlights how censorship in Iran continues to be an obstacle to the indigenous production of culture. This past week director Ahmad-Reza Darvish’s award winning film Rooz-e Rastakhiz (entitled “He Who Said No” in English), about the revered Shi’a figure Imam Hossein’s uprising against and martyrdom at the hands of the Umayyad Caliph Yazid, was pulled from cinemas in Iran due to what some claim is the film’s irreverent treatment of its subject matter. The film was originally created in 2010 and first shown at […]

    Banning of “He Who Said No” and the undermining of Iranian culture
  • Iran after the nuclear crisis

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    Published July 16, 2015 at 10:00 pm - No Comments The Iranian nuclear crisis, which has come to define the last 12 years of the tumultuous post-revolution U.S.-Iran relationship is at an end. But this is an end which is also a beginning. The process of engagement which led to negotiations, which in turn led to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has enabled an unprecedented level of interaction and trust building between the United States and Iran that may open doors to greater future cooperation. In this sense the JCPOA provides an institutionalized framework in the form of the Joint Commission for ongoing and iterative discussion on not only the issues provided for in the technical […]

    Iran after the nuclear crisis
  • Interview – A primer on Iranian politics: and how they could derail a nuclear deal even after it’s signed

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    Published July 2, 2015 at 5:18 pm - No Comments IranPolitik co-founder and managing editor Farzan Sabet recently conducted a Q&A on the domestic politics of implementing a final nuclear agreement in Iran with The Atlantic: “Kathy Gilsinan: Say the negotiators actually strike a nuclear deal. How does the Iranian system process it domestically? Does parliament have to pass laws to implement it? Can the supreme leader simply reject it if he doesn’t like it? Farzan Sabet: According to Article 77 of Iran’s constitution, international treaties, protocols, contracts, and agreements have to be ratified by parliament. In the case of the nuclear negotiations, this means that parliament has to ratify both a final agreement and other legal documents […]

    Interview – A primer on Iranian politics: and how they could derail a nuclear deal even after it’s signed

Iran’s 2016 Elections: Change or Continuity?

June 13, 2016 in Analysis, Announcements, Iran Election Watch

IranPolitik managing editor Farzan Sabet has written a new report for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: “Iran’s moderate alliance made gains in recent parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections. Composed of the country’s centrist and reformist political currents, this group refers to itself as moderate in the Iranian context to appeal to voters by painting its rivals as extremists. The new parliament is likely to be more supportive than the last parliament of President Hassan Rouhani on key issues such as the implementation of the nuclear deal with the UN Security Council’s five permanent members plus Germany (P5+1) and Iran’s reintegration into the global economy. The legislature […]

Interview – 4 reasons Iran’s new parliament is a really big deal

May 26, 2016 in Announcements, Iran Election Watch

IranPolitik managing editor Farzan Sabet was recently featured in an article on the 2016 Iranian parliamentary elections in Vox: “But when I spoke with Farzan Sabet, a fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, he cautioned against overstating the significance of pro-Rouhani moderate gains in the parliament. Even with the political capital gained from last year’s nuclear accord, said Sabet, “Rouhani may face a limited consensus on expanding social and political freedoms.” Even though many traditional principalists, such as the current speaker of parliament, Ali Larijani, publicly supported the Rouhani administration’s efforts in securing the nuclear agreement, they don’t agree with the centrists […]

Interviews in the Toronto Star, Newsweek, & RFE/RL on the 2016 Iranian Elections

March 3, 2016 in Analysis, Announcements, Iran Election Watch

IranPolitik managing editor Farzan Sabet recently spoke to the Toronto Star, Newsweek, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on the 2016 Iranian Elections. See the interviews below: The Star: “In Iran, Friday’s tightly controlled elections will be pivotal for moderates: Analysis” Newsweek: “Iran Elections: Why They Matter” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: “Nine Takeaways From Iran’s Elections”

Why Iran’s Assembly of Experts election is the real race to be watching

February 25, 2016 in Announcements, Iran Election Watch

IranPolitik managing editor Farzan Sabet has written a new article on the upcoming Assembly of Experts election in Iran in the Washington Post Monkey Cage: “On Friday, the Islamic Republic of Iran will simultaneously hold votes for the Islamic Consultative Assembly (parliament) and the Assembly of Experts. While the parliament has received more attention, the assembly is arguably more important for Iran’s political future. The elected assembly is widely expected to choose the third supreme leader in the Islamic Republic’s history, decisively shaping its political landscape for the critical coming years.” To read the rest of the article, visit the Washington Post.

Ayatollah V President: The clash of visions over Iran’s opening to the West

February 18, 2016 in Analysis, Announcements

IranPolitik managing editor Farzan Sabet has written an article about the clash of visions between Iran’s supreme leader and president that could shape Iran’s relations with the West, in New America Weekly: “The Islamic Republic of Iran recently marked the 37th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution of 1979, which heralded a decisive break in the country’s relationship with the West, especially the United States. Coming ahead of the first post-nuclear deal Islamic Consultative Assembly (parliament) and Assembly of Experts elections next week, which pit relatively pro-Western moderates against anti-Western conservatives, many have been pondering if we could soon witness Iran-West reconciliation. Optimists have lauded the election of moderate […]

Rouhani disheartened by mass disqualification of aspiring 2016 Iran election candidates

January 19, 2016 in Analysis, Iran Election Watch, News

Mass disqualification Preliminary reports appear to indicate the there has been mass disqualification of aspiring candidates by the Council of Guardians ahead of the 2016 Iranian Islamic Consultative Assembly (parliamentary) and Assembly of Experts elections. According to Tasnim News Agency, only 4,720 out of a total of 12,123 aspiring candidates have been qualified to participate as candidates in these elections, a 38.9 percent qualification rate. That’s an average of 16 candidates competing for each seat in parliament. While an unprecedented number of aspirants registered to run in the elections, this would also be the lowest qualification rate of any election. Seyed Hossein Marashi, a member of the Reformist […]

Check out Majlis Monitor on Iran’s upcoming 2016 elections

January 13, 2016 in Analysis, Announcements, Iran Election Watch

Majlis Monitor, an election monitoring and fact-checking platform based out of the University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs, has put together a series of articles, info-graphics, and videos, explaining various aspects of the upcoming 2016 Iranian Islamic Consultative Assembly (or “Majlis”) elections. We have linked a sample below which may be of interest to our readers: Spotlight on Parliament: How to Become a Candidate Infographic: How to Become a Parliamentary Candidate in Iran Infographic: How to be a Qualified Candidate for Iran’s Parliament Infographic: How to be Excluded from Contesting Iranian Parliamentary Elections Why Have So Many Candidates Registered for Iran’s Upcoming 2016 Elections? How the […]

Iran Election Watch 2016: High numbers register to run in parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections

December 27, 2015 in Analysis, Iran Election Watch, News

With the end of registration for aspiring candidates who want to participate in Iran’s upcoming 2016 parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections, Minister of Interior Abdol-Reza Rahmani-Fazli announced a high turnout. According to government figures 12123 people registered for parliamentary elections, over 100 percent more than in the previous 2012 election, while 801 individuals registered for Assembly of Experts elections, an increase of over 62 percent since the last election in 2008. Iran’s parliament, the Islamic Consultative Assembly or “Majlis”, is responsible for legislation. The Assembly of Experts, an 88-person body made up of Islamic jurists, is responsible for selecting the supreme leader, the most powerful position in […]

Iran Election Watch 2016: Larijani refuses to join conservative electoral alliance

December 22, 2015 in Analysis, Iran Election Watch, News

The Principalist Alliance Central Council (PACC) has been formed, with Gholam-Ali Haddad Adel as its spokesman, in the hopes of uniting Iran’s conservative current in the lead up to the 2016 parliamentary election. But Ali Larijani’s refusal to join could sustain or even strengthen conservative disunity in this election and beyond. As we have argued in the past, Iran’s conservative current, known as the principalists, have since their formation in the late-1990s been, generally speaking, composed of two majour sub-currents: The traditional and neo-principalists. By coming to a consensus on a range of issues – including supreme leader-centric politics and social conservatism – these sub-currents were able to […]

Iran Election Watch 2016: Trends to watch for in the upcoming Iranian parliamentary elections

December 4, 2015 in Analysis, Iran Election Watch

Iran’s Islamic Consultative Assembly, or parliamentary, elections fast approach on 26 February 2016. This short article looks at trends which may shape the disposition of Iran’s political forces ahead of this vote. The election is particularly important because, as with other Iranian legislative elections, it could reshape the balance of power in the Islamic Republic and be decisive in facilitating or obstructing President Hassan Rouhani’s domestic political agenda. One general trend that will likely persist in the lead up to and following the election is the realignment of Iranian politics away from the margins and toward the center. Between 1997 and 2013, Iranian politics was dominated by two […]