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Divided conservatives clash in Iranian elections

Divided conservatives clash in Iranian elections
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Iran’s parliamentary election on Friday will pit allies of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad against those loyal to Supreme Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

It is the country’s first national election since a disputed presidential poll in 2009.

The contest is being boycotted by reformist groups and not all Iranians will vote in protest at the status quo.

Iranian filmmaker Nasser Taghavi said: “Going to the polls doesn’t make any difference.”

“Even if people don’t go, you will see a bizarre statistic is provided that these many votes were cast. The vote doesn’t affect the result.”

The 3,444 candidates standing for Iran’s parliament have been approved by the country’s Guardian Council.

The body’s members are appointed directly or indirectly by the Supreme Leader.

Some 48 million Iranians are eligible to vote.

Government officials expect a 65 percent turnout; reformists say the figure will in fact be much lower.