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No "substantial changes" in domestic, foreign policies expected from Iran's new parliament: expert

(Xinhua)

13:23, March 08, 2012

TEHRAN, March 7 (Xinhua) -- No "substantial changes" in domestic and foreign policies can be expected from Iran's new parliament, an Iranian expert said Wednesday.

With Monday's announcement of the results of the first round of Iran's parliamentary elections, the conservatives took an unchallengeable lead over their rival candidates.

Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said in the first round of elections, the vote count of which ended on Monday, 225 out of the 290 seats were filled and the fate of the 65 others will be decided in the run-offs, which are likely to be held in late April.

Explaining views about the outcome of almost four-fifths of the would-be composition of the Iranian parliament, or Majlis, Dr. Sadeq Zibakalam, a professor of political science from Iran's prestigious Tehran University, told Xinhua Wednesday that "I don't see any substantial changes ... in the Majlis that we will be having in the future."

"The upcoming Majlis will not be very different from the current one. In both of them, the conservatives have the upper hand," Zibakalam argued.

As far as the major issues including the country's nuclear program are concerned, Iran will carry out its nuclear enrichment activities, Zibakalam said. "Nothing will change as far as foreign policy (of the Islamic republic) is concerned."

However, he said he is "optimistic" about the resumption of talks with the world's major powers in the near future.

The six world powers that used to engage in nuclear talks have accepted an offer from Iran to revive negotiations after months of stalemate, a top diplomat from the European Union (EU) said Tuesday.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she has received a letter in February from Iran's nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, who said Tehran wanted to reopen negotiations with the six powers -- the three EU countries of France, Britain and Germany, plus China, Russia and the United States.

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