In the name of Allah, the Merciful to all, the Compassionate
In recent days, lots of news has been circulating on social media about the spreading Coronavirus in Iran – including news reported by Heath Ministry officials. However, the English pages of most Iranian news outlets do not reflect this; and for good reason: the whole story was for local consumption. Let me explain.
President Rouhani’s current feeble government botched everything so badly that his approval rate dropped to around 7%. So the most expected thing was for the parliament to impeach and disqualify him. But liberals and reformists have the majority in the current parliament, and they support Rouhani, no matter what.
This situation made most people decide to participate in today’s election, and vote for anyone other than reformists – just to increase the chance of Rouhani’s ouster as soon as possible. As a result, voter turnout in today’s election was expected to be around 70% in poor provinces and cities, who consider Rouhani as the cause of their misery. In richer cities, like Tehran, reformists have a better chance of keeping their footing. If the turnout is 70% or so, and conservatives win with 90% of votes, the damage for reformists is uncontrollable. But if voter turnout is low, they can find an alibi to justify the loss.
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