Iran Stuns World In First Election Since Nuclear Agreement, Pro-West Reformists Sweep Seats

Republicans may have done everything they could to destroy the Iran nuclear deal, including dabbling in light treason, but President Obama was just vindicated for sticking to his guns – and in a HUGE way.

In the first election held in Iran in the aftermath of the landmark nuclear deal, the Iranian people flooded to the polls in record numbers to support the warming relations between the two countries. For anti-American hardliners in Tehran, this was a very bad day. According to the Washington Post:

Iranian reformists appear have won all 30 seats representing the nation’s capital in parliament, a definitive rebuke to the hard-liners opposing President Hassan Rouhani’s efforts to increase economic openness and cooperate with the West.

In the first elections held since last year’s nuclear deal, none of Iran’s three main political camps — reformists, conservatives and hard-liners — is expected to win an outright majority, but early results indicate the best reformist showing in the 290-seat parliament in more than a decade.

It was also a bad day for anti-Iranian hardliners in America. For months, Republican lawmakers have been attempting to destroy the merits of this international agreement under the premise that Iran will not abide by its agreed upon terms and that the country will never reform. Both theories have now been refuted. The United Nations recently announced that Iran had successfully fulfilled its obligations towards dismantling its nuclear program. Now even the government seems to be changing in a direction towards diplomacy and building international relationships.

Iran seems on the verge of a monumental change, perhaps for the first time in decades. Years of threats from America moved the country very little, but the cooling tensions has allowed Iranian moderates to push for greater economic and social reforms. As a sign of the changing times, it is reported that more women than ever before ran and were elected to office.

That does not mean to say that everything is perfect. The country still hosts a number of appalling human rights violations against its own people. It also doesn’t quite love America. At this point, the two countries merely talking to each other is a pretty huge deal.

But no one outside of the Republican Party ever thought demanding immediate and unconditional surrender would ever work. Instead, Obama’s strategy has always been to “trust, but verify” that the agreements he and Secretary of State John Kerry were hammering out were being fulfilled. The stakes are high: Greater prosperity for the Iranian public and a lesser chance of all out war between the United States and one of the biggest countries in the Middle East.

None of this is likely to silence Obama’s worst critics. They are beyond the point of rational thought about Iran. The results of this cognitive dissonance can occasionally be quite humorous. Just a day before Iranians went to the polls, and at the risk of looking like a complete jackass, conservative writer Eli Lake penned an anti-nuclear agreement rant for Bloomberg that predicted moderates would get demolished. Alas, it didn’t pan out that way. It was an unmitigated “Karl Rove moment” and one that should serve as a reminder for other would-be critics to at least wait for the polls to come back before thinking up new ways to attack the President’s deal with Iran.

Something tells me they won’t listen.

Featured image via Twitter