tv Inside Story 2020 Ep 55 Al Jazeera February 24, 2020 8:32pm-9:01pm +03
the islamic jihad group in gaza says it's ended its military response against israel after 2 days of cross border violence israel carried out another round of airstrikes on sunday injuring 4 people the military says it was a response to dozens of rockets fired into southern israel u.n. sponsored talks on libya's conflict are under pressure in geneva a delegation representing warlord says it's suspending its participation the internationally recognized government based in tripoli is also expressing doubts dozens of people have been injured in central germany after a car rammed through a con of a parade in the town of fox mawson. the news continues here on al-jazeera after inside story.
iran's general election deals a blow to the religious establishment the conservatives did win the vote but the turnout was the lowest in 4 decades so how will turn around deal with what seems to be growing public discontent this is inside story. our welcome to the program i'm adrian finnegan hardliners are set for sweeping gains in iran's parliamentary elections but they appear to have less popular support voter turnout in friday's polls was the lowest since the islamic revolution in 1979 that's despite the supreme leader urging people to cast their ballots as a religious judy to show resistance in the face of u.s.
sanctions now conservatives are expected to have the upper hand in parliament and reformists could push for greater engagement with the west have been weakened some say many iranians are on happy with their government and felt discouraged from voting with more than 7000 potential candidates disqualified voters options were limited anyway but iran's interior minister says that all the circumstances including the coronavirus was a blame for the lower turnout. that shadow. we held these elections when there was several incidents in the country we had bad weather there was this coronavirus disease there was the plane crash also the events of january and november in such a situation the turnout right seems perfectly acceptable for us. one hour from 00. 0 the conservative candidates have had a souping victory in the parliamentary elections they have got 201000 seats out of 290 in the upcoming parliament when they take session in may the conservatives have
seen have a very strong support mainly because the voter turnout has been very low it's one of the lowest in iran's history since the revolution of 1979 in terror on alone there were about 26 percent voter turnout and nationwide that figure was up around 42 percent that is the lowest that has ever taken place in a parliamentary election in iran many people we spoke to said that they were not going to vote because they were not satisfied that their reformist candidates were disqualified for justified reasons also that the m.p.'s once they get into power that they don't do what they were supposed to do what they promise this is a disillusionment and many people we spoke to felt it was present and that is why there was such a low turnout in this election what this all means for the future of this country me it means that they there is a trend that we're seeing that this conservative movement is gaining power and that the remainder of term of hassan rouhani will be one with very little power when it
comes to dealing with parliament and passing legislation for the time being we will see this parliament come into session in a few months until then the president has his work cut out for him he's going to have a lot of opposition in this new parliament and that means that any kind of negotiation with the west including the united states would very much unlikely when it comes to trying to secure a new nuclear deal and trying to get iran back into the international community and its economic markets open again. for inside story. all right let's bring in our guests for today's discussion from tehran we're joined by the stuff a question who's editor in chief of the news agency from london our own merits who is an iran analyst and former teheran correspondent for the economist and here and we have much you director of the gulf studies center at cal university gentlemen
welcome to you all the stuff a question let's start with you what's your interpretation of this election of the low turnout in particular it was an engineer victory for the conservatives wasn't it helen thanks for having me and no i do not agree with you it was not engineered as a matter of fact leaders of the reformist camp have been saying people like leaders of the new day iran the reformist party people like mr which ani who is the leader of the mother with kim party accord was ourselves on the they've been stressing that the fact they're behind their last has been their poor record and performance in power all throughout the last several years has also got a 2nd acknowledge your stuff i think you're going to have a 2nd there's of reformist parties must have had to say and i just want to make the point before you expand upon that how could this have been anything but engineered when so many reformists were barred from standing in the 1st place. anaemic exactly
explain the same point you know i'm telling you the words in the coats of these reforms leaders of reforms parties they say that like the leaders of the iranian reformist party they have been saying through the media that there is been a sufficient range of tastes for anyone who wants to cast a vote that is to say they were present on the scene i mean the reformists were present that's what they themselves say and it seems that before the election they were emphasizing gun disqualifications in order to hide their defeat but some of the camp you know they came out to tell the truth that there were reformists present on the scene also a poll conducted by east palm polling center said that from all those people who who didn't appear at the polls only 3 percent of them believe that they shouldn't
take part in the election because they didn't have a candidate so for 97 percent of those who who didn't appear at the polls there were other reasons that were one has been the poor record of the reformists whenever they are in power for all throughout the last several decades and the 1st election after they come to power in the parliament an administration we see a low turnout of course not as low as now in the past 6 years they promised to improve the economy only through one single scenario removing the sanctions and through the j.c. and they failed this by the very fact that iran complied with all its undertakings according to their own a strategy and that was their only that was their only senario they said and they didn't have a plan b. but this doesn't mean that it's been all know of course the gas price a price hike had a very determining factor in this weighed in the people from appearing at the polls
also the room. about the spread not the rumors but the news about the spread of cronulla just a couple of days before the election ok it also played a factor there were other reasons as well that must have had that i mean there are many issues that the that i would like to to take issue with you on on on i know are others who guest want to do the same i can see much you hit shaking his head here in doha let's bring in our own in london aren't we want to as the low turnout in this election tell us what message will nonvoters delivering and to whom and what do you make of what mr was saying. so i think you can basically have it both ways. the lights on out and they was perhaps influenced by accidental factors your guesses just mentioned the coroner virus iranians are by and large kind of hypochondriac as well so that would chime with a lot of my experience like people are going to go out if i feel as
a health risk on the other hand the iran is a managed democracy no one's ever no one claims it's a true democracy the guardian council manages the candidates and. if you are looking at the system from an iranian voters perspective you will see that. any. any year after and has been said that if you are middle class and if your lower middle class who will probably been publicly now to 2 years of sanctions on the economy are on heavily relies on. importing goods and if it can trade with the outside world it creates enormous inflation inside the country now this summer aliens will argue that this is a problem of the system as a whole and i consciously not voting to send a message. you can also argue that the system itself cannot provide for any ends because it is called child by u.s.
sanctions which are illegal they violate the un ratified a c.p.o. i and the us pulled out of the j c p o i as your previous guest mentioned was complying with that. but i don't think. democracy is not doing well anywhere in the world and certainly not doing well in iran. swear if you want to come back on what you've heard so far before i ask you to read it russia go on i mean 1st of all we know that reformist where we're banned of power since 2000 maybe since the 6 measureless and we know that the last attempt to for them to go back to politics was 2009 where most of the leaders magical will be. and in the form of prime minister. they are now in house arrest the former president mohammad khatami nearly nearly is banned of politics so those
are the potent figures it comes to the reformist i do believe personally 100 percent that the reform reform and the reform actually do not exist in iran what what is what has been now called reform is actually what has been left of all day. or a group of reformists who still believe that the political system can be reformed they can do something and reality iran has one political color says the the 6 parliament where was the last reforms where representative 100 percent and they were actually in power what whether the president was mohammad khatami and the parliament was actually controlled order or had a majority of reformist and they let their learned the lesson that basically there there are deadlines if they get to close to that there would be and the severe pressure and and that time they try to do so when they ask for. you know for
reviewing to article in the constitution and they were banned of doing so the 2nd point i want to raise this election is been this round of the action has been designed from the beginning it was obvious that people there they have mistrust of the government they have mistrust of the political process they believe that there was nothing has been done. the president has that rouhani is not a form is the is a moderate he is the he's the he's the candidate of the stablish meant he was he was the person who everyone liked him to be the president because he was leader he was the leading the the negotiation with the e.u. and 2 sisters 1003 so he wasn't presenting the establishment that i've been there rather than that inform is the campaign to kill any any kind of accusation he does nothing is actually. denying the fact that docs really they put a lot of obstacles behind it before him and he could he was in the cable to do anything stuff you talked about the disillusionment the people have fought for
those the reformist politicians in in the country and perhaps you are saying that they are to blame for the fall in popularity by about by not implementing the legislation that they've promised i mean that's not quite the case that was at the in many cases they've been prevented from implementing legislation by the supreme leader no adrian as a matter of fact they have been in power let me explain a little bit because this this is just the propaganda in order to whitewash inefficiency of the reformist camp if they are banned and they've been banned as my colleague has been saying then why do they insist to remain in power so much they want to stay in power to be an actor an influential actor within the framework of the islamic republic and they do not live power go no way never that's why exactly they struck an alliance with president rouhani how could he become
president if it hadn't been for mr hatami the former iranian president the leader of the reformist camp he stressed in his book the 1st time that rouhani was elected and then also in his 2nd term election he stressed i repeat you know. that this is become a catch phrase among iranians i repeat you need to go cast a vote for rowhani and when rouhani went to his hometown of jazz the 1st thing he said was i do my greetings i if you mr romney's father and he himself they are in alliance they are very much live in they are live in iranian politics and you know their strategy for this time around why they took part in the election and they gave 2 lists of candidates not 12 lists you know tehran and hundreds of
others all across the country because they want to stay in power their strategy was we will take part in the election because they want to remain an influential factor these are just propaganda the that some reformists did and they still do in order to cover their inefficiency otherwise take a look at the number of m.p.'s that have been disqualified for the next round and were not present in this election from 90 m.p.'s that were disqualify some of course lay there their cases were revised somethin 15 of them but 45 reformists and 35 principle lists the opposite camp they were disqualified these qualifications are not just for the sake of political beliefs or things like that if they've done corruption if they have they've used misused power if they have done anything wrong they have a criminal record they are disqualified and some 55 percent of the principle
this as well as ok present it as a result of us disqualify them from is not in our and i want to come in that i was just saying painting me as a leader of a reformist camp and the reformist being a hugely influential pot of politics in iran is hate and layups that the reformist leaders have been in prison since 2000 and. 9 hotta made it is his freedom to appear in front of the press or his appear to go to political events. is is also entirely cut tackled the idea that the reformists have. an enormous constituency where it matters in iran which is in the executive but also in the non-elected parts of the government hasn't been true since the late ninety's and i don't know how you could really paint of another way successively since the founding of islamic republic after khomeini died the elitists clerical establishment side of
the regime which was deeply had ambivalent as well because they also had the revolutionary populist side. the elitist clerical side essentially took over with with the with the supremes leadership of hominidae and ever since that now has been tried to get itself and has been doing so for for it for reasons of political expediency because it has been under extreme pressure iran is under extreme pressure from the outside and when and when regimes are under extreme pressure from the outside they tend to close ranks and the more principal list elements of the regime are of course going to take a foreground but it's been i think this sounds 20 years out of date what i'm hearing now. the conservatives think controlled all the main levers in power in iran now following this election except for the presidency so what does this result mean for president rouhani of
a relative moderates in his last year in office and what sort of person is likely to replace him next year. ronnie ronnie's pitch when he became. president in 2008 was to negotiate with a c.p.o. a with the u.s. and his critics from the principle of camp have been entirely vindicated because there was a change at the top of the u.s. and the u.s. unilaterally pulled out so romney romney's legitimacy among the hardliners but also a lot of normal quote unquote everyday iranians has been severely dented. romney himself with the security guys in that he's he's not a reformist to say but he has he was poised on the back of a reformist formed part of his constituency but their phones themselves are no in
their power and certainly not after the. the guardian council into the engine in this parliamentary election having stacked the. legislature also pays the way for the presidential election because you need if you're going to have. if in the if in the unlikely event we have. we don't have a principle it still hardline president which could happen due to american politics you're going to need a stack magill as in order to veto any of that ministers. to pick up on something you were saying a few moments ago to what extent is this a lick election a signal that the the dual ruling system in which reformist moderates have provided political opposition for the conservatives come to an end that's it with this election. and you know it is obvious that the whole political scene in iran is
dominated and controlled by what's happening outside the borders and i mean here the foreign policy issue and the pressure from the united states all of the internal affairs basically this this this parliament. is actually an indicator a reflection of the concerns of what's happening in outside and the pressure on iran so both i mean in such circumstances we know that in the last 20 years reformist they have no place in such circumstances and have they have to be marginalized so it is it was obvious that the the conservative the and what's interesting engine about the winning of the victory of the conservatives is actually they are competing within themselves now there are other competitor within the in the same camp and that may need actually to fragility to see to project it within their performance because they are not really 100 percent on the same page
because they have different agenda within the parliament and this may weaken in their performance there is one important point we have to remember this elections and ever elections is about renewing legitimacy to the regime and this is the lowest any turning out in the elections the previous one was the 7th measureless and though the percentage of turning out was 50 to 1.2 this is nearly 42 this is absolutely a real concern to the regime this does having having said that we have to keep in mind the voters are divided into 3 blocks of quickly nearly 30 percent guaranteed voter those basically with that e.g. whatever that it does they will vote for the candidates of that e.g. there is another block who are really. they have doubts. and those people they will look at you know the political circumstances and those the other the bloke
basically did they don't want to participate 100 percent so basically dead already 30 percent are secured in the election and that he was a clearly to secure that 12 percent from other voters that is a strong message about politics and foreign policy and the performance of that e.g. and the stablish meant as a whole actually and that is cynthia's stuff a joy to come back home that the elections are all about lending legitimacy to the regime just the leadership in iran still have legitimacy and what about this fragmentation between conservatism and modernism in the country where is the hostility between the 2 going to lead our 1st of all i have a lot of comments on my colleague saw whether. make it as a make or a fake it brings us was number 2.57 percent. sure sure do my best. the 42.57 percent is still. the
world average it's one of the best in the world even in the west that claims to be the cradle of democracy look at the numbers in france in the last parliamentary election around 48 percent of the people to a party in the election so this is taking part in you know of the country's affairs and management and 70 that's what you know people do normally they resolve the differences and express their views through the ballot box since 15 months ago because we were short of time let me put it this way we knew that 2 shifts would happen from this election through the opinion polls conducted by american iranian universities in an academic sense this one was a shift of power from the reformers to the principal a scam because the reformists always pursued the liberal economy they widen the gini index and they the terrier at the condition for the lower classes of the
society that's why the southern neighborhoods in tehran and many of the cities they rush to the polling stations to cast their want to shift of power to the principal ischemic but not the old generation let's remember ok that's the 2nd ship that isn't just started 60 percent of these newcomers are fresh are fresh politicians they have never been a kerry year diplomat or kerry or politician they have been picked up as experts in economy in politics foreign policy media culture and so on so forth in order to improve this situation and put in stalemate put an end to the stalemate that was caused by this administration through their new ideas and plans and expert plans ok that i'm afraid we're going to have to leave it many thanks indeed all of you for being with us mr. it tehran are and there is a lot of troops wary. as always thank you for watching don't forget you can see
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