Two Armenians Elected to Iran’s Parliament

TEHRAN, Iran (A.W.)—Karen Khanlarian and George Abrahamian were elected to Iran’s Parliament on Feb. 26. The 290-seat parliament (officially called the Islamic Consultative Assembly) has 285 directly elected members and 5 seats reserved for Zoroastrians, Jews, Assyrian and Chaldean Christians, and Armenians—one for Armenians in the north of Iran and one for Armenians in the south.

Iran's Islamic Consultative Assembly (Photo: Mahdi Sigari)
Iran’s Islamic Consultative Assembly (Photo: Mahdi Sigari)

Speaking to Armenia’s, Khanlarian said that Iran’s Armenian community actively participated in the elections, with around 12,000 Iranian Armenians heading to the polls. According to Khanlarian, he received 74 percent of votes in the northern constituency; Abrahamian remained the only Armenian candidate in the south after the other contenders withdrew from the election.

Khanlarian said he is satisfied with both the voter turnout and the election result, and that he expects many changes to come about after Friday’s election. “Though it is a bit difficult to describe the general situation, interesting changes are expected in the Majlis [Parliament] in terms of the [political] forces’ arrangement,” he said.

Karen Khanlarian (Photo:
Karen Khanlarian (Photo:

Speaking to Public Radio of Armenia about the implications of the election results for Iranian Armenians, Abrahamian said the community would form its approaches and attitudes based on the platforms offered by the greater political forces. The elections were the first since the United States and other countries agreed to lift the economic embargo imposed in 2012 to curb Iran’s nuclear program. Abrahamian said the negotiations are still ongoing and will continue, particularly on the issue of human rights.  

Khanlarian, also in an interview with Public Radio of Armenia, said he would use his position to do his best to take the Armenian Genocide issue to “higher podiums.” He also said that Iran-Armenia relations will be in the spotlight in the coming months, as the lifting of sanctions presents a new era of cooperation.




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