20 Feb 2020

Iranians head to the polls for parliamentary elections – Jon Snow reports from Tehran

Tomorrow’s election takes Iran into uncharted waters. It takes place after many of the candidates were disqualified by the ruling authority. Many of them are allies of President Rouhani, a moderate.

When we reported the Presidential election here in 2017, there was still the afterburn of President Obama’s opening to Iran and the nuclear deal.

Now all that is gone, in its place is the restarting of the Iranian nuclear programme. Add to that the chaos in Syria in which Iran is significantly involved, continuous strife in neighbouring Iraq and Afghanistan, draconian US led sanctions, and the shooting down of the Ukrainian airplane in which 176 people were killed.

Above all there have been widespread and significant demonstrations against the Government as recently as last month. The consequence of tomorrow’s vote will perhaps be more about turn out than who wins. The authorities want a 50% turn-out, some in Tehran talk of 20% here. And there is also the fact that the authorities have also banned nearly a third of MP’s from running.