Iran votes in general election marred by disqualifications

TEHRAN (HRNW) – Iran went to the polls Friday for a general election that conservatives are expected to dominate amid voter apathy after an economic slump, multiple crises and the disqualification of thousands of candidates.

The 11th parliamentary election since the 1979 Islamic Revolution comes after steeply escalating tensions between Iran and the United States and the accidental downing of a Ukrainian airliner by Iranian air defences that sparked anti-government protests.

As he cast the first ballot in the election, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged all Iranians to take part, saying that doing so would “guarantee the country‚Äôs national interests”.

Voters formed long queues at polling stations in south Tehran, where conservatives have a solid support base, but far fewer were seen waiting to vote in upmarket northern neighbourhoods.

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