Power to Iran’s Conservatives
The conservative victory in Iran’s parliamentary elections on February 20 will sharpen the ambition of religious conservatives in the government, stirring concern in the West. The elections dealt a major blow to the reform movement stirring in Iran in recent years, which called for a more secular and moderate government. Parliament’s new profile consists of “a hard-line core,” with “apparent gains for lawmakers holding atomic science backgrounds” (Associated Press, February 22).
The lopsided victory was due in large part to the clerics’ unceremoniously disqualifying hundreds of reform candidates from the elections. The EU called the elections a “setback for democracy.”
The U.S. has tended toward a “wait and see” policy on Iran, seeing the reform movement as the promise of a better future for the Islamic state. But the reality is that Iran, taken over by revolution 25 years ago, has not been able to reform itself.
Now, npr reported, “With the conservative parliament and conservative clerical leaders, Iran’s government will have less conflict and may have more room to act” (February 26). This presages a consolidation of Iran’s political power and falls in step with what the Trumpet has been saying about Iran for years (request our free booklet The King of the South).
The EU and the United States are equally concerned that the conservative monopoly on Iranian politics will further Tehran’s pursuit of a nuclear program.
Watch for religion to play a larger role as radical Islam dictates Iranian foreign policy—at the same time that Catholicism takes stronger root in Europe.