Larijani Sweeps Votes in Iran’s Parliamentary Elections

A03860319.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- Former chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani has achieved a landslide victory in Iran’s Friday elections.

Larijani ran as a candidate from the revisionists group in the religious city of Qom, 130 kilometers south of Tehran, and according to still unconfirmed reports, gained more than 75 per cent of the vote against other candidates.

Larijani resigned last October as chief nuclear negotiator, when he said that he intended to run for parliamentary elections.

The conservative but pragmatic official was asked by high-ranking clergy circles to run for the Qom and not Tehran constituency and observers believe that the move was symbolic for the clergy’s support for Larijani and the new political trend among the conservatives.

Considering his landslide, it remains to be seen whether Larijani would replace as new parliament speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, head of the conservative faction who ran for Tehran where results have yet to be announced.

As expected, initial results from the provinces show a lead for the conservatives who formed the majority in the 7th parliament as well.

As in the provinces technical rather than political aspects are considered by the voters, only the results of the big cities, especially the 30 seats in the capital Tehran, will clarify political trends in parliament.

Reformists close to former president Mohammad Khatami hope to gain one-third of the vote in order to establish at least a respectable and effective minority inside the parliament.

Final results are expected to be out on Monday or Tuesday.

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