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Hardliners set to tighten grip in Iran vote as frustration mounts

1/3/2024 12:26
        Iran elects a new parliament on Friday in a vote that will test the popularity of the country's hardline clerical rulers, with mounting public dissent over economic woes and restrictions on political and social freedoms set to keep many Iranians at home.
        
        With heavyweight moderates and conservatives staying out of the race and reformists calling it an "unfree and unfair election", the vote will pit hardliners and low-key conservatives against each other, all proclaiming loyalty to Iran's Islamic revolutionary ideals.
        
        The vote will be the first formal measure of public opinion after anti-government protests in 2022-23 spiralled into some of the worst political turmoil since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
        
        Iran's top authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has called voting a religious duty. He accused the country's "enemies" - a term he normally uses for the United States and Israel - of trying to create despair among Iranian voters.
        



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