Polls close in Iran’s elections

epa08233352 An Iranian woman on a wheelchair gets her ballot papers at a polling station during the parliamentary elections in Tehran, Iran, 21 February 2020. Iranians head to polls amid a worsening economic crisis and escalating tensions with the United States. EPA-EFE/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

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Polls closed in Iran at midnight local time after multiple extensions, the news agencies Tasnim and Fars reported. There was no official announcement on voter turnout.

The key vote on Friday took place against a backdrop of escalating tensions with the United States, a worsening economy, and an outbreak of the coronavirus that has killed at least four people in the country.

As voters queued up to cast their ballots across Iran, the world’s top anti-terrorism monitoring group, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), voted to keep Tehran on its blacklist for failing to tackle “terrorism” financing.

Parliamentary election in Iran

Reporting from the capital, Tehran, FRANCE 24’s Reza Sayah said the Guardian Council this year had barred around 90 sitting moderate or reformist lawmakers, leading many Iranians to question whether Friday’s vote was a legitimate democratic exercise.

“Analysts say this apparent purge of reformists is an indication that Iran’s establishment is reshaping the government from one that was led by the moderates and reformists who wanted to open relations with the West, who wanted the [2015] nuclear deal, to one that now will be dominated by conservatives and hardliners who are going to take a much more firm stance against the US, implementing more anti-US policies, which doesn’t bode well for what’s left of the nuclear deal and improved relations with the West,” noted Sayah.

France 24, Al Jazeera

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