A few minutes after the arrival of Nowruz on March 20, President Hassan Rouhani released a video message congratulating Iranians on the Persian New Year, providing a general account of the country’s performance on domestic and foreign issues. These statements are typically vague, but Rouhani called the coming year “the year of elections.”
“Let’s join hands to elect a parliament that deserves the Iranian nation and also vote for an Assembly of Experts that could bring more stability to the country and further peace to public opinion,” he said.
Having been frustrated with the conservative-dominated parliament over cultural policies, Rouhani, whose popularity is on the rise now over the Lausanne nuclear framework announcement, will attempt to seize the moment by riding this popularity through to the February 2016 parliamentary elections.
Dariush Ghanbari, a former Reformist MP, told Al-Monitor: “Many of President Rouhani’s promises haven’t been fulfilled owing to hard-line MPs sabotaging his plans.” Ghanbari said that Rouhani needs a parliament in line with his policies to follow his strategies.
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This article was written by Rohollah Faghihi for Al-Monitor on April 11, 2015. Rohollah Faghihi is a journalist who has worked for various Iranian media organizations including the Entekhab news site. On Twitter: @FaghihiRohollah