Rival Hard-liners Face Off As Iranians Vote

March 2, 2012 by staff 

Rival Hard-liners Face Off As Iranians Vote, Iranians voted on Friday in a parliamentary election expected to reinforce the power of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s clerical establishment over rival hardliners led by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iranian leaders are looking for a high turnout to repair an acute crisis of legitimacy caused by Ahmadinejad’s re-election in 2009 when widespread accusations of fraud plunged the Islamic Republic into the worst unrest of its history.

Iran also faces economic turmoil compounded by Western sanctions over a nuclear programme that has prompted threats of military action by Israel, whose leader meets U.S. President Barack Obama in the White House on Monday.

“Whenever there has been more enmity towards Iran, the importance of the elections has been greater,” Khamenei said after casting his vote.

“The arrogant powers are bullying us to maintain their prestige. A high turnout will be better for our nation … and for preserving security.”

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