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ADVISORY: Parliamentary Elections in Iran

An Iranian man looks at electoral posters and fliers during the last day of election campaign, in Tehran, February 19, 2020

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.

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

RFE/RL experts are available for comment before, during and after the polls:


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To schedule an interview with any of RFE/RL's experts, contact Muhammad Tahir (; +1.202.740.0603) or Joanna Levison (; +420.221.122.080) in Prague.

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