Just a few months after a wave of anti-government protests and amid a crushing economic crisis fueled by U.S. sanctions, millions of Iranian voters will go to the polls on Friday, February 21 to elect the country's new parliament.
Hardliners dominate the field, after the Guardians Council, a secretive body beholden to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that screens prospective candidates, disqualified about half of those who registered to run. Iran’s leaders worry, however, that widespread public apathy in the wake of the disqualifications could lead to low voter turnout that could undermine the legitimacy of the country’s theocratic system.
The election also comes at a critical time for Iran and could have serious implications for the future of the country and its relationship with the West. The mostly defunct 2015 nuclear deal that promised to reshape Iran’s relations with much of the international community and heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran following the killing of Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani have figured prominently in the campaign.
- WATCH: Everything You Need To Know About Iran’s Parliamentary Elections
- READ: Why Iran's Very Predictable Parliamentary Vote Is Still Important
RFE/RL’s Iranian Service, Radio Farda, has been providing audiences in Iran with non-stop multimedia coverage of the campaign and analysis of the main issues driving the vote, and monitoring public engagement with the election process.
For the latest Radio Farda news reports in English, visit https://en.radiofarda.com
RFE/RL experts are available for comment before, during and after the polls:
- NIUSHA BOGHRATI, Radio Farda Chief Editor (English, Persian)
BoghratiM@rferl.org -- phone: +420.725.847.769 -- Twitter: RadioFarda_Eng, Facebook: radio.farda
- HANNAH KAVIANI, Radio Farda Correspondent (English, Persian)
KavianiH@rferl.org -- phone: +422.214.171.1248 -- Twitter: @hannahkaviani
- GOLNAZ ESFANDIARI, RFE/RL Senior Correspondent (English, Persian)
firstname.lastname@example.org -- phone: +4126.96.36.1998 -- Twitter: @gesfandiari
Find RFE/RL Experts at https://pressroom.rferl.org/experts
Follow the latest developments on RFERL.org.