Abstract: The triumph of reformists in the Iranian elections has led some in international and regional political circles to feel a sense of relief. However, the question still remains as to whether the reformists will be able to gain the power to change Iran’s course. This paper argues that despite the achievements of the reformists in the elections, they will still be stymied in any attempts to normalize Iran’s relations with its neighboring countries, the United States and the West or to carry out major political, social and economic reforms at home. These limitations are derived from a number of key factors:

First, that the hardline conservatives are still dominant players in most of the influential political institutes.

Second, the coalition the reformists formed with the pragmatists led by Rafsanjani is fragile since it was formed on the basis of common interests and could be vulnerable if the interests of the two camps clash in future.

Finally, the public’s influence on political outcomes is limited,  meaning that the reformists’ popularity will only take them so far.