Polls open in Iran elections

2012-03-02 12:03
Tehran - Iran opened legislative elections on Friday, with the country's 48 million voters being called out in what is seen as a test of how much support President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has among ruling conservatives.

The elections, to fill the 290 seats in parliament, are being boycotted by Iran's main opposition and reformist groups, the leaders of which have been under house arrest for a year.

It is the first nationwide poll since the disputed 2009 re-election of Ahmadinejad, which sparked widespread protests, by opposition groups crying fraud, and a bloody regime crackdown.

International observers have not been allowed in to the country by authorities, who were determined to show a high turnout as a sign of popular backing for the regime.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said a big turnout would be a "blow to the mouth of the enemy" - the United States and its Western allies.

Read more on:    iran

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