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A partial vote count following Iran's parliamentary election has given
A partial vote count following Iran's parliamentary election has given a landslide victory to conservatives who broadly support the hard-line president, Fars news agency said on Saturday.

The agency said that judging by votes counted in several provinces, the conservatives are set to receive 70% of seats in the 290-seat parliament.

Although the majority of conservatives back President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, some are moderates who have questioned his confrontational stance with the West, and his management of the economy.

Friday's election came under criticism in Western media as 1,700 reformers were barred from the polls by an unelected body of clerics and legal experts. Reformists currently hold around 40 seats in parliament.

According to the Interior Ministry, turnout was 65% of the 44 million eligible voters. Opening hours of polling stations were extended several times due to the high turnout, according to officials.

The results are to be officially announced by March 20.

On Friday, president Ahmadinejad accused the United Nations Security Council of attempting to influence the election by imposing sanctions on Iran. The UN's resolution on a third round of sanctions over Iran's refusal to halt its nuclear program came less than two weeks before the vote.

"Before the election the enemies of our country expected the resolution to influence the bold participation of the Iranian people. However, this view was wrong," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told journalists after casting his ballot at a polling station in the capital, Tehran.

"The enemies of the Iranian people cannot influence the heart of our nation. This election will be a great honor for the great nation of Iran and an embarrassment for the lying [Western] media," he said.


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