Iran religious, political hardliners face off in vote

Polls expected to reinforce power of Khamenei's clerical establishment over hardline rivals led by Ahmadinejad.

By REUTERS
March 2, 2012 08:35
3 minute read.
Iranian election officials at the ballot.

Iran election officials polls ballots 390. (photo credit: REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl )

 
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Iranians voted on Friday in a parliamentary election which is expected to reinforce the power of the clerical establishment of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei over hardline political rivals led by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The election is unlikely to have much impact on Iran's foreign policies - the country's disputed nuclear program and international relations are already strictly controlled by Khamenei.

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But it could allow the clergy to strengthen its hand in determining the political backdrop ahead of a presidential election due in 2013.

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