Dubai Expo 2020 recommends postponing a year amid virus    US expected to renew sanctions waivers allowing Iran nonproliferation work: Sources    How will we vote? Outbreak revives debate mail-in ballots    Poland vote could be postponed if safety not guaranteed: President    What you need to know about the Central Bank of Egypt's new cash deposits and daily withdrawal limits    Saudi, UAE businesses battle cash crunch despite anti-coronavirus stimulus    Tokyo Olympics rescheduled for July 23-Aug 2021: Organizing committee    Iran's coronavirus death toll reaches 2,757: Health official        Serie A hits back at Italy sports minister Spadafora over 'bubble' remark    Drop in China's new coronavirus cases; none in Wuhan for sixth day    Egypt's FRA launches policies for micro-finance activity amid coronavirus    Mourinho to take Tottenham training via video amid coronavirus lockdown    Egypt's defender Elmohamady proud of 10-year milestone in England    Facebook users add ‘Stay At Home' frame to profile photos    How coronavirus affects real estate market in Santa Clarita Valley    UK epidemic is slowing and antibody test could be ready in days, top epidemiologist says    Twitter removes 2 Bolsonaro tweets questioning coronavirus quarantine    Egypt to extend closing mosques over coronavirus fears – minister    El-Tayeb urges Egyptians to stick to coronavirus preventative measures    Egypt, MENA growth forecast at 2.7%, -0.3% respectively: IIF    Prosecution warns of EGP 300k fine or 2-year jail for spreading fake coronavirus news    Al-Sisi discusses joint coronavirus efforts with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince    Saudi Arabia intercepts missiles over Riyadh    CBE temporarily regulates cash deposits, withdrawals    Lagging COVID-19 response to shield frail economy: Rouhani    Apple works with US House to release coronavirus app, website    California's houisng market unclear after new restrictions amid coronavirus    Farwell to Egyptian comedian George Sidhom    Weekend's virtual concerts, plays, and festivals people can stream at home    Egyptian comedy icon George Sidhom dies at 81    Shooting Egypt's Ramadan television series in the time of coronavirus    Egyptian court sentences five to death for vandalising gas pipeline, killing nine    Amid coronavirus outbreak, Egyptian Premier League cancellation seems inevitable    Brazilian football stadiums transformed into hospitals to treat coronavirus patients    Stay At Home: Ministry of Culture to publish free books online for public browsing    ‘We are here to boost the morale': Ahmed Zeidan, Egypt's ROOM Art Space& Café    IOC postpones Tokyo Olympics due to coronavirus pandemic    Playing for time    Water effects of the dam    What to watch to kill time in quarantine?    Japan PM Abe agree on delaying the Tokyo Olympics for one year    Ethiopia has not sent Egypt latest designs for GERD: Minister of Irrigation    Al-Sisi appreciates Kenya's support to Egypt's stance on GERD    Nigerien President hails Egypt's diplomatic attempts to reach agreement over GERD    Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson announced both test positive for coronavirus    Cairo court acquits Mubarak's sons of stock market manipulation    Egypt's President Sisi pardons some prisoners on 25 Jan. Revolution anniversary    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Iranians vote in election, hardliners set to dominate
Published in Ahram Online on 21 - 02 - 2020

Iranians began voting on Friday in a parliamentary election likely to help hardline loyalists of the supreme leader tighten their grip on power as the country faces mounting U.S. pressure over its nuclear programme and growing discontent at home.
With thousands of potential candidates disqualified in favour of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's allies, the vote is not expected to influence the country's nuclear standoff with the United States or foreign policy.
Even though parliament's power is limited, gains by security hawks could weaken pragmatists and conservatives who back the ruling theocracy but support more engagement with the outside world.
More hardline seats in the Assembly may also help them in the 2021 contest for president, a job with wide day-to-day control of government. President Hassan Rouhani, from the pragmatist faction, won the last two elections on promises to open Iran to the outside world.
Washington's 2018 withdrawal from Iran's nuclear deal with world powers, and its reimposition of sanctions, have hit Iran's economy hard and led to widespread hardships.
Tensions between Iran and the United States increased dramatically when a U.S. drone strike killed the country's most prominent military commander, Qassem Soleimani, at the Baghdad airport on Jan. 3.
Iran retaliated on Jan. 8 by attacking U.S. targets in Iraq with domestically built ballistic missiles, killing no one but causing brain injuries in more than 100 soldiers.
Encouraging Iranians to participate in force, State TV showed footage of people lined up to vote in several polling stations set up mainly at mosques.
"I am here to vote. It is my duty to follow martyr Soleimani's path," said a young voter at mosque located at a cemetery, where Soleimani is buried in his hometown.
Soleimani, architect of Tehran's overseas clandestine and military operations as head of the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, was a national hero to many Iranians. He was the Islamic Republic's most powerful figure after Khamenei.
State television said voting is set to run for 10 hours, with about 58 million Iranians eligible to vote for the representatives in the 290-member parliament. The voting can be extended for a couple of hours depending on the turnout.

Religious duty
The U.S. Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on the members of the Guardian Council and its Elections Supervision Committee over the candidate bans.
On Friday, Iran's election vetting body spokesman said he was honoured to be blacklisted by the United States, according to state news agency IRIB.
Khamenei was the first to cast his vote.
"Voting is a religious duty ... which will also guarantee the national interests of Iran," Khamenei said after he voted, broadcast live on state TV. "I am urging Iranians to vote early."
With Iran facing growing isolation on the global stage and discontent at home over economic hardships, analysts have described the election as a referendum on the leaders' handling of political and economic crises.
For Khamenei, a big turnout would signal to Washington that Iran is unbowed by sanctions and the killing of Soleimani.
The Guardian Council has ensured hardliners dominate the field, removing 6,850 moderates and leading conservatives, and permitting voters a choice mostly between hardline and low-key conservative candidates loyal to Khamenei.
The authorities have been under pressure since last year when protests over a fuel price hike were met with the bloodiest crackdown since the 1979 Islamic revolution, killing hundreds.
But reformers have failed to capitalise on the unrest.
State TV showed people waiting to vote in polling stations across the country.
"Each vote put into the ballot box, is a missile into the heart of America," said Amirali Hajizadeh, head of aerospace unit of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards.

Clic here to read the story from its source.