Iran votes 2016


Iranians vote on February 26 to elect new members of Parliament and

members of the Assembly of Experts.

It is the 10th parliament since the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979 and the 35th

since the Iranian Constitutional Revolution.

Elected members will serve from May 3, 2016, to May 3, 2020.

The Parliament, also known as the Majlis, has

290 members.

They are elected every four years and are responsible for passing the country’s legislation.

Assembly of Experts

The Assembly of Experts is composed of 88 members, elected every eight years, and is responsible for choosing the country’s Supreme Leader.


This is not a democratic election. Candidates are vetted

and often critics or reformers do not make the cut.



people registered to run for Parliament but just


were approved, and that included 586 women (or 9.4% of the total candidates).


The elections are expected to test the popularity of President Hassan Rouhani

who promised to get the nuclear sanctions lifted. Rouhani is also seeking a seat in the Assembly of Experts.

There are an estimated 50 million registered voters.

Voters must be 18 and above.






registered political parties but allegiances shift during and after elections

voter turnout in 2013 presidential elections

of the population are

citizens 30 years old or younger







of the population live in urban areas

GDP in 2015

literacy rate as of 2015

81.8 million


91.2 percent



(17th most populous country in the world)

GDP per capita in 2015

82.5 percent



With an inflation rate at more than 15% last year and youth unemployment as high as 25%, many are looking for the government to solve the country’s economic problems.


Iran has the largest reserve of natural gas in the world, at over 1.2 trillion cubic feet. The country also has 157 billion barrels of oil reserves, the fourth largest in the world. It hopes to dramatically improve oil production to eventually reach 3.5 million barrels per day (BPD), which is what it produced before economic sanctions were imposed in 2011 and 2012.



After nuclear-related sanctions were lifted last January, Iran stepped up its diplomatic and economic ties with the West. However, Khamenei warned that the country’s “enemy”, referring to the United States, is trying to “infiltrate” the elections.


Iran continues to engage in a proxy war with Saudi in places like Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and relations between the two countries remain tense following the execution of Saudi Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr and the storming of the Saudi embassy in Tehran.



The freedom of expression also remains a major issue in the country, with the arrest of journalists, artists and other activists. The most prominent figure in the Green Movement, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who was a 2009 presidential candidate, remains under house arrest.



Despite the restrictions, elections in Iran typically has high turnout. In 2013, more than 70 percent of the 50 million electorate cast their ballot for president reflecting a popular hope for democracy.

Correction: An earlier version of this infographic incorrectly stated the GDP as $40 billion. The correct value is $400 billion.

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By Ted Regencia  and @ajlabs