This report provides an overview of the election contests in Lebanon, Iran, Afghanistan, and Iraq, including possible outcomes and implications for U.S. policy. The strategic influence of Iran in the Middle East, the stability of Iraq, and the ongoing war in Afghanistan are at the forefront of U.S. policy and Congressional interest in the region.
This report briefly describes the Iranian election process and the implications of this Election's results. On February 26, 2016, Iran held elections for the 290-seat Majles (parliament) and for the 88-seat body called the "Assembly of Experts," which is empowered to choose a successor to the Supreme Leader and rewrite Iran's constitution.
This report discusses Iraq's political system, which has been restructured through a U.S.-supported election process. The Iraqi government is increasingly characterized by peaceful competition rather than violence, but sectarianism and ethnic and factional infighting still remain. This report discusses issues relating to opponents of the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and also discusses the atmosphere of nationwide provincial elections. The report also addresses the Obama Administration's plan to reduce the U.S. troop presence in Iraq by August 2010 and briefly addresses the Iranian influence in Iraq.