Preliminary results released Saturday in Iran indicated that reformist and moderate candidates were set to expand their influence after two important elections, state news media quoted the Interior Ministry as saying. More than 30 million Iranians voted Friday in the two elections, one for a new Parliament and the other for an influential clerical council. The elections were the first since the completion of an international agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program that included the lifting of economic sanctions against the country, a deal supported by the reformist camp and opposed by hard-liners. Voter turnout for the two contests exceeded 60 percent, according to the Interior Ministry. The reformist and moderate list of candidates for the 290-member Parliament appeared to be headed for victory in the Tehran area, according to preliminary results announced by election officials and reported by the state-run Islamic Republic of Iran News Network. Representatives from Tehran, the capital, control 30 seats in Parliament and generally determine the political direction of the body.
According to the early tallies, only one hard-line candidate was among the top 30 vote-getters in Tehran, the state news media reported.
There were no immediate results from constituencies outside Tehran in either of the two elections. But some political analysts said that they expected to see similar gains for reformist parliamentary candidates in other large cities.
In the election for the Assembly of Experts, an 88-member clerical council that would, if necessary, pick the next supreme leader, the reformist and moderate list led by President Hassan Rouhani and former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was also making a strong showing in the Tehran area, according to reports of the preliminary results.