Photo: Reuters

Iran holds national elections

Eligible voters in Iran headed to polling stations to cast ballots in the Islamic Republic’s parliamentary elections.

Iranian Member of Parliament Ali Motahari commented that, “The greater the participation of people, the better for the country and it is a good message, message of resistance to America and Israel,” amid Tehran’s steadfast defiance of international scrutiny over its nuclear aspirations and aggressive regional policy.

Numerous Iranian voters and new candidates voiced hope for a fundamental change to Iran’s policy and domestic challenges. “Wrong procedures have formed over these years,” remarked Ali Vakili, who is running on the Majlis party ticket. “Unless these procedures are corrected, the coming and goings of people MP’s will change nothing,” he pointed out, adding that “The face of the mistakes will change, but those mistakes will stay in place.” First-time voter Mahnaz Bostani called on the incoming government to “create good jobs for us young people, make housing affordable and make marriages for young people easy.”

Thousands of potential candidates were disqualified prior to today’s elections, in favor of aspiring candidates allied with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Voter turnout is expected to be around 50%, compared to 62% and 66% respectively in the 2016 and 2012 parliamentary elections.