Middle East

Iran's reformist media hail election success

Front cover of Iranian Reformist newspaper Sharq saying that all 30 members of the reformist-backed list of candidates were elected. Tehran's consitituency sends 30 deputies to the 290-member parliament. Image copyright Sharq
Image caption Reformist newspaper Sharq features the reformists who made a clean sweep in Tehran

Reformist and moderate media in Iran are hailing their side's successes in partial results for elections to the parliament and the Assembly of Experts, which elects the country's supreme leader.

But hardline papers are keen to pour cold water on the celebrations, insisting that conservatives will still have majorities in both bodies.

Some also accuse reformists and moderates of being in league with Western enemies of Iran's system of clerical rule.

'Tehran's Spring'

"The greatest achievement of the elections is the reformists' return to the system," Ehsan Kiani writes in reformist daily Mardom Salari, in a piece headlined "Tehran's Spring".

He says that for the first time since the protests against the disputed presidential election of 2009 - which led to the house arrest of top reformist leaders - reformists will again be part of "the legal framework".

Image caption Keyan's headline (L) calls reformist victory claims a "Big Lie!", while Mardom Salari (R) features pictures of reformist election winners in Tehran

But the hardline paper Keyhan dismisses reports of reformists' gains as a "big lie" and warns that "Iran is not just Tehran", arguing that more conservatives than reformists have made it to the new parliament from across Iran.

In the government-run paper Iran, Azar Mansuri writes that reformists and moderates are not in any case seeking dominance in the new parliament, but are willing to work together with conservatives in a spirit of "pluralism, competence and rationality".

"The sweetness of this victory has made Iranians happy and boosted the people's hope for the continuation of calm and for an economic boom in the country," he adds.

Foreign interference

Several papers across the political spectrum suggest that with the vote now over, it is time to focus on bread and butter issues.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Observers expect a high turnout

The people are now keen for "political slogans and election campaigns to be put away and for the officials to pay attention to the country's fundamental issues such as the economy," conservative Hemayat says.

Ali Qanbari, in the reformist Arman, urges the new parliament and the government of moderate Hassan Rouhani to work together to help open up the economy, secure investment and promote growth.

But some in the hard-line media have lashed out at what they see as links between the West and the moderate-reformist camp.

"Some American and European authorities are beating a hollow drum of 'change in the Islamic Republic's behaviour'," Hossein Shariatmadari writes in Keyhan.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The election campaign was seen as more lively than previous ones

In the same daily, Abbas Haji-Najjari alleges the "direct involvement of foreigners and anti-revolutionary figures" in support of reformists and moderates

On the newly popular social media app Telegram, conservatives even launched a "No to the UK" channel, which accused reformists of enjoying the support of Britain and the BBC.

But in general, Telegram, which is not yet filtered in Iran, has been dominated by the jubilation of reformists and moderates, who have been widely sharing pictures of the arrested reformist leaders Mr Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.

'Shift from revolution'

In the wider region, media hostile to Iran are dismissive of the vote's impact.

In Sunni-dominated Kuwait, Al-Watan describes the vote as a "farce" and "a desperate attempt by the rival gangs of the regime to save their rule from the crushing crises that threaten the whole regime".

The Lebanese paper Al-Mustaqbal, which is critical of Iran's ally, Syria, says that despite the reformists' successes, the high turnout still bolsters the hard-line Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei by demonstrating continued public support for the regime.

But in Jordan, Al-Dustur wonders whether, with reformists and moderates making gains, Tehran might change its policies in the region and the vote could lead to "a shift from revolution to state".

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

Related Topics

More on this story