The Teheran City Council defied hard-line government pressure on Wednesday, re-electing a moderate-leaning mayor who is seen as a potential rival to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The government had been campaigning to keep Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf from being picked again as mayor of the capital city. But the City Council vote appeared to indicate waning support for Ahmadinejad, especially in the city he used to lead.
Qalibaf's re-election would be seen as a victory for "moderate conservatives" - supporters of Iran's cleric-led power structure angry at Ahmadinejad over his harsh anti-Western rhetoric and faltering economic policies.
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