Iran blocks former president's website ahead of vote

December 30, 2011 19:22

TEHRAN - Iran has blocked the website of influential former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani ahead of parliamentary elections, for carrying pro-refom critical statements, Iran's semi-official ILNA news agency reported on Friday.

The clerical establishment has increased pressure on the pro-refom opposition ahead of the March 2 vote, the first nationwide poll since a 2009 disputed presidential vote that triggered prolonged and widespread anti-government protests.

In the past days, some leading reformist figures have been sentenced to long-term jail sentences.

Rafsanjani, who heads a powerful body that resolves disputes between parliament and a hardline clerical body, sided with the opposition after the 2009 vote, which critics say was rigged to secure hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election.

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