Iran starts parliamentary poll campaign

Iran starts parliamentary poll campaign

Iran starts parliamentary poll campaign

An Iranian worker looks at the printed posters of a candidate of upcoming parliamentary election in a printing house. AP photo

Iran’s week-long parliamentary election campaign began yesterday, the official IRNA news agency said.

The election will shape up as a contest among clerical and political conservatives on March 2, the first nationwide vote since the disputed 2009 re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that sparked eight months of unrest and a crushing state response.

With a no-show by leading pro-reform groups, loyalists of Iran’s most powerful figure, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, and backers of Ahmadinejad, who is not a cleric, will compete for a majority of the 290-seat parliament. “The 3,444 candidates running for parliamentary elections have started the campaigning by mainly handing out fliers and raising posters on Thursday,” IRNA reported. The streets of Tehran lacked the lively mood of an election. There were sporadic banners in some major squares and streets but most of them bore pictures of Khamanei. More than 48 million Iranians are eligible to vote.
Meanwhile, Iran accused Feb. 22 Israel of assassinating its nuclear scientists as part of a “war game” while it denied any role in attacks on Israeli diplomatic targets in several countries. A letter sent by Iran’s U.N. ambassador, Mohammad Khazaee, to the U.N. Security Council said Israel has been allowed to commit crimes against others with “impunity.” Khazaee said Israel had made “unfounded allegations and distortions” against his country over the recent attacks and bombings.

“These operations, as well as attributing the violent acts, are part of the general war game waged by this regime against Iran,” the envoy’s letter said.

Compiled from Reuters and AFP stories by the Daily News staff.