Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrives for a meeting with head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Ramadan Abdullah Shallah at the presidency office in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, May 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
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Iran's parliament reconvenes in late May with dozens of greenhorn lawmakers who will hold the key to accelerating reforms to boost foreign investment and trade – but whether they eventually make or break the modernization drive is hard to predict.Independent tallies suggest this will be the first parliament in more than 20 years without either a conservative or reformist majority, and the novices' allegiances may switch between Iran's many factions.Iran does not have rigid party affiliations and some election candidates were backed by both camps, while deal-making ahead of the opening of parliament on May 27 could see independent MPs throw in their lot with one side or the other.The Guardian Council, a unelected 12-member religious body, barred nearly all known reformist figures from standing in the elections.Backed by Rouhani's moderate allies, former presidents Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami, their candidates ended a decade of conservative dominance of parliament by ousting many hard-liners.
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