Journalist Reese Erlich has covered Iran's unique governing system for 15 years. Although the country holds presidential and parliamentary elections, final decisions are made by a supreme religious leader. A clergy group decides who qualifies to run, and can even eliminate sitting members of parliament. Hardliners, who oppose any reconciliation with the U.S., swept the February 2020 parliamentary elections. That victory, combined with continued unilateral U.S. sanctions, make further Iran-U.S. confrontation likely.