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How Iran's Moderates Triumphed

And What It Means for the Region

An Iranian woman chants slogans during a ceremony marking the 37th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, in Tehran, February 11, 2016. Raheb Homavandi / Reuters

These days, news from the Middle East is usually disheartening, filled with terrorism, beheadings, civil wars, failing states, refugees, and sectarianism on the rise. But this week, there was finally some good news, and it came out of Iran.

A year after signing a landmark nuclear deal with the P5+1, Iran held two elections, one for its parliament, the Majlis, and one for the Assembly of Experts, a clerical council that selects the supreme leader. The vote, which coincided with the 110th anniversary of Iran's first parliamentary election, saw some 62 percent of the Iranian electorate—or 34 million people—peacefully demonstrate their commitment to the ballots. Unlike the disputed election of 2009, in which incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was accused of electoral fraud and which sparked weeks of protests, the vote seems to have been relatively clean. All in all, it should leave Iran even more politically stable than it already is.

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