In an interview with Al Jazeera America, AIC’s President Hooshang Amirahmadi discussed the recent parliamentary elections in Iran and their implications. Amirahmadi said the Iranian Parliament is becoming more moderate, but not influential. He said “elected officials are still underdogs; power remains largely concentrated among hardliners.” The most significant political bodies in Iran will always remain in the control of hardliners, such as the Supreme Leader. There is little the parliamentary elections can actually do in affecting Iran’s foreign and domestic policies. In response to whether or not Iran will become more open to the West, considering the success of the nuclear accord, he said “it depends.” If Iran feels secure, it will assume a tougher position. On the other hand, if Iran believes it is under pressure, it will be more open to improving its relations with the West.
AIC's Kayvon Afshari recently completed working as a consulting producer for VICE on HBO for their upcoming documentary on US-Iran relations, the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, and the country's nuclear program. The piece was hosted by VICE founder Shane Smith
By Bradford Van Arnum, AIC Research Associate
In the middle of March, Iran’s Interior Ministry announced that runoff elections for nearly 70 parliament seats would occur on April 29. The first round of voting had taken place on February 26, when Iran held elections for both its parliament and Assembly of Experts. The former is a 290-member body that is elected every four years, while the latter is the group responsible for choosing a new Supreme Leader when a vacancy arises. The elections for the two institutions, both of which have been dominated by conservatives in recent years, were seen as key tests of President Rouhani’s time in office, and in particular, a referendum on the nuclear accord that was signed in July 2015.
Reviving Iran's Image
The common international image of Iran is that of a backward country supporting terrorism, seeking weapons of mass destruction and violating human rights. This image in turn has fueled anti-Americanism, which has provided one of the pretexts for the political and diplomatic conundrums of the Islamic Republic. However Iran is a historic nation, with rich culture and heritage while United States has been instrumental in building the modern world. This project aims to showcase the true face of the Iranian nation to the international community, including the United States.