Iranians Vote in Parliamentary Elections

An Iranian clergyman casts his ballot at a polling station at Massoumeh shrine in the holy city of Qom, 130 kms south of Tehran, during parliamentary elections on March 2, 2012.
An Iranian clergyman casts his ballot at a polling station at Massoumeh shrine in the holy city of Qom, 130 kms south of Tehran, during parliamentary elections on March 2, 2012.

Iranians across the country are choosing a new parliament, in a vote seen as a test between conservatives who support and others who oppose President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Parliamentary Election Facts

  • Candidates are cleared by the Guardian Council.
  • 3,444 candidates are running out of the 5,395 who registered.
  • Parliament has 290 seats.
  • Voters must be over 18 years old.
  • 48 million people of Iran's 74 million strong population are eligible to vote.
  • Ballots are counted manually.

Some 3,400 candidates are vying for seats in the 290-member parliament. Friday's election, which is the first since the disputed 2009 presidential election, is being boycotted by Iran's main opposition and reformists groups. Iran's conservative government and clerical leaders have pursued a crackdown on the reformist movement since it staged mass protests against Ahmadinejad's re-election.

More than 48 million Iranians are eligible to vote in Friday's election.


Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has appealed for a big turnout that he says would represent an act of defiance toward Iran's enemies - a reference to Western powers leading a sanctions campaign against the Iranian economy.

Western powers have been tightening sanctions to pressure Iran into stopping nuclear activities they fear are aimed at producing weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful.

Iranian reformist leaders have been jailed, kept under house arrest or otherwise excluded by clerics from competing in the parliamentary vote. They have called on Iranians to boycott it.


Since Ahmadinejad's re-election, Iran's dominant conservative movement has largely splintered into factions that support him or reject him for presiding over a weakening economy and challenging the Supreme Leader in appointments of government officials.

The presidency in Iran is an administrative office rather than an executive role, as in many other countries. The Iranian president implements policies set by the supreme leader and laws approved by parliament, and selects Cabinet ministers, subject to parliamentary approval. The supreme leader has the final say on nominees for ministers of Defense, Foreign Affairs and Information and Culture.


Iran's Guardian Council says no outside organizations will be permitted to monitor the turnout or vote-counting process. The clerical body vets parliamentary candidates and validates poll results.

Council spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei said Thursday the presence of international observers would be an "insult" to the Iranian people, whom he said have decided their own fate since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iran's semi-official Fars news agency quoted Tehran governor Mohsen Nayebi as saying 350 foreign journalists are accredited to cover the election.

"Our brave nation took part in the Islamic Revolution more than thirty years ago and took hold of their destiny and didn't allow any intervention from foreign bodies or countries," he said. "In my opinion, such comments are insults to the common sense of our people."


Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
by: Giovanni
March 02, 2012 11:39 AM
Wake up Iranian people !! Tell your government that you don't want to live like they did 1000 years ago. Stop the HATE.. Join the rest of the world and live in the 2012. Enjoy the fruits of a good life Put a stop to this insanity...

by: Gab
March 02, 2012 11:38 AM
If you look at the pictures of the voter turn out, you will not see the clean shaven young people and the secular young women who came into the streets a few years ago in mass to protest the Islamic Government.

by: Gab to JohnWV
March 02, 2012 11:33 AM
Any support given to Israel is to help them with their security against the people that you support. Iran directly supports Hamas and Hezbollah, who have vowed the total destruction of Israel. You probably already know this, but choose to support the far right Islamic clerics.

by: Romina
March 02, 2012 7:27 AM
I think iran is always victor because of its people and its religion.

by: Blinkie
March 02, 2012 7:17 AM
Not everyone wants a war with Iran but if they do like Sodaminsane did and trade gold for oil then the rich who have the say go to war.

by: Bobbak
March 02, 2012 5:49 AM
John WV
american liberals are more dangerous than mullahs in Iran. mullahs and extreme clerics and Muslims can NOT implant their policies in america if NOT be supported by Liberals. what amazes me is how extremist use the democracy and freedom of speech, against democracy itself in this country.

by: reza
March 02, 2012 3:37 AM
now, Iranian people are voting for lighting future also we have some problems for selection in the past but it is normal because for independent we should pay its price all countries for earn democracy paid its price west power don't like independent Iran . the power countries have nuclear program i don't know why Iran can do

by: JohnWV
March 02, 2012 3:36 AM
NO MORE WARS! Lift all sanctions and compensate Iran for damages with Israel's annual $3B gift. American foreign policy must again serve peace and humanity, not the Jewish state's grandiose aspirations. NO MORE WARS!

by: Gab, who are the real enemies of Iran?
March 02, 2012 2:08 AM
Witnesses to Green Movement protests in the last elections claim that protests of this size have not been seen in Iran since the 1979 revolution. That is why Iranian reformist leaders have been jailed, kept under house arrest or otherwise excluded by clerics from competing in the parliamentary vote. The election is unlikely to have an impact on Iran's foreign policies as the country's disputed nuclear program and international relations are strictly controlled by Khamenei.

by: hamad part 2 of 2
March 02, 2012 1:58 AM
an executive role rather than an administrative office and the result is various endless wars and 15 trillions debt . Al least Iranians can nominate one of them whereas Christian Americans have been under mercy of few greedy corporations and Goldman Sachs . The strict grip of Iranian supreme leaders has encouraged Iranians to gain more real liberty and freedom . Dr. Ron Paul is only the candidate who diagnoses the symptoms of the failed US foreign policy reasonably .

Comments page of 2

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