Laborers work at the construction site of a building in Tehran, Iran, Jan. 20, 2016. Reuters/Raheb Homavandi
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Gains by reformist candidates in Iranian elections open the way for changes to economic policy that will boost foreign investment and trade with the West, businessmen and analysts said Sunday. Friday's vote ended more than a decade of conservative domination of the legislature and the Assembly of Experts, a body that oversees the Islamic Republic's supreme leader.The outgoing parliament, filled with hard-liners suspicious of detente with the West, had acted as a brake on President Hassan Rouhani's plans to strengthen the private sector, tackle corruption and welcome foreign investors.Rouhani, the architect of last year's nuclear deal with world powers, is now expected to find it easier to push legislative reforms making the economy more attractive to foreign firms. By giving the Rouhani administration a popular endorsement, the result appears likely to leave the administration with more domestic political freedom to sign a deal if it chooses.Beyond any specific reforms, Rouhani appears to have won an endorsement of the idea of opening Iran's economy to the outside world.
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