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Mohammad Reza Aref

Did Iran’s reformists celebrate too soon? Hard-liners rebound after election

Did Iran’s reformists celebrate too soon? Hard-liners rebound after election

For Iranians who support greater economic and social freedoms – and curbing the country’s disputed nuclear program – the elections held in February were a moment to savor.

Backers of moderate President Hassan Rouhani, who has pledged to improve the economy and relations with the West, won a sizeable minority in a parliament that has been under the sway of conservative hard-liners for more than a decade.

But in recent days, reformists and centrists have suffered setbacks that show both the enduring power of conservative forces in Iranian politics and the challenges...

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