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Iran Moderates Win Majority in the Parliament and Assembly of Experts

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    Iranian voters dealt a stunning blow to Iranian hardliners today in an election that was seen as a referendum on the nuclear deal made with the major world powers. The moderates won a majority in the parliament and the Assembly of Experts, the group of individuals tasked with picking the next Supreme Leader of the country. As Vice President Biden would say--this is a big fucking deal.

    I fully understand there are still many forces in both countries that are hell bent on making sure the United States and Iran continue to be enemies, but this election gives me hope that the majority of both countries are finally starting to realize that being friends is always easier than being foes.

    Now lets just hope that Donald Drumpf doesn't get elected and decided to start a nuclear war with them.

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    Yes, I had read about this. It is great news. I personally feel that Americans would identify more with Iranians rather than Saudis in this proxy war between the two countries. Of course, I understand economically and politically why we align with the Saudis, but culturally I think Iran beats Saudi Arabia by a mile.

    If Operation Ajax (CIA coup) hadn't happened, who know what the course of events might have taken.

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    Reza Marashi, Huffington Post, February 29, 2016: Iranian Voters Seek Gradual Change, Electing Moderate Candidates

    "Iran can still surprise. Despite thousands of candidate disqualifications, tens of millions of Iranians flocked to the polls to vote in their 2016 elections. Turnout has surpassed 60 percent. Victory by candidates aligned with President Hassan Rouhani already exceeds expectations. Thus far, there have been no allegations of cheating. This begs the question: What just happened?"

    Marashi lists several factors in the trend toward a more moderate government, including energizing the youth in the country to vote. "Iran's large youth population means there were millions of eligible first-time voters, and many young Iranians vote in order to avoid being turned down for employment or other government-related benefits. Having a stamp in their identity papers showing they participated in the electoral process is at best a show of patriotism and at worst, erring on the side of caution."

    Young people are given an incentive to vote. I don't know how something like that would catch on in the USA. Maybe Bernie's candidacy is all they need. However, Marashi also points to another reason which fits more with the Hillary Clinton philosophy:

    "But perhaps above all else, these elections reflect Iranian society's continued desire to bring about change through gradual evolution rather than radical upheaval. They are demanding pragmatic and democratic reform within the existing system. No one is calling for a revolution, and a diverse socioeconomic swath of Iranian society rejects foreign interference in its politics."

    These elections were a rejection of the hardliners. Sure extremists are still in government at both the left and the right. However, as Marashi points out: "A more diverse range of views will now be sitting at the decision-making table in Iran. Politicians that have united as part of Rouhani's coalition were at each other's throats 10 to 15 years ago."

    Wouldn't it be nice if we could learn from Iran?