Parliamentary Support for Gov’t Guaranteed

Parliamentary Support for Gov’t GuaranteedParliamentary Support for Gov’t Guaranteed

Reformists, who are in the majority with allied moderates in the incoming parliament, will throw their weight behind the government of moderate President Hassan Rouhani and his plans to revive the economy, a former reformist lawmaker said.

"Reformists strongly believe that they should actively assist the government in furthering its plans because they approve the plans and regard them as critical to the country's recovery," Mohammad Reza Khatami said in an interview with IRNA on Wednesday.

It has been more than four months since Iran's economy was freed from years of sanctions in return for time-bound constraints on its nuclear program under a landmark agreement reached with major powers last July.

Rouhani, who championed the deal, has been trying to capitalize on the momentum to push through economic reforms by opening the domestic economy to international investment.

This was opposed by rival conservatives, particularly those in the outgoing conservative-dominated parliament, who claim an inflow of western businesses could subject the country to the West's corruptive culture and undermine the integrity of the Islamic establishment.

A coalition of reformists and moderates had a strong showing against conservative contenders in the twin elections for the parliament and the Assembly of Experts, an influential clerical body that selects the Leader of the Islamic Revolution and supervises his work, on February 26.

They swept all the 30 seats exclusive to the capital Tehran in the 290-member parliament and 15 out of the 16 seats for the assembly, which has 88 members.

They also made gains, though not as impressive, in other cities.

Khatami noted that many of Rouhani's initiatives have been stalled mainly by the parliament over the past three years since he took office in 2013 and now the people expect the next legislature to join forces with the government and help carry through those initiatives.

"Fortunately, reformists, moderates and other backers of the government are in a majority in the incoming Majlis and this reassures Rouhani that the parliament would no longer try to derail his main plans," he said.

The 57-year-old politician cautioned that pro-government lawmakers should learn from the mistakes of their incumbent fellows, about two-thirds of whom failed to secure the public vote of confidence in the February polls to get reelected.

Commenting on criticisms about Rouhani's failure to deliver on his electoral pledges, Khatami said, "Reformists recognize the barriers and challenges facing Rouhani and they are satisfied with his performance even believing that it has been successful beyond expectations."