Iranian Parliament Approves Election of Conservative and Reformist MPs
Iran's reformist-dominated parliament on Sunday approved the election of two MPs, a reformist and a conservative, ending a bitter struggle, state radio reported.
The election of cleric Ali Akbar Mohtashami, a former interior minister close to President Mohammad Khatami, and Qolam-Ali Hadad-e-Adel, close to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had earlier been rejected by parliament's enquiry commission.
The country's rival conservative and reformist factions had in recent months been engaged in a political tug-of-war over the certification of the two MPs' votes.
The reformists had threatened to reject the election of Hadad-e-Adel, opining that he had been elected in "unwholesome" circumstances, while the conservatives threatened to oppose the election of Mohatashami.
Mohtashami, Iran's ambassador to Syria in the early 1980's and one of the main founders of the militant Hizbollah movement in Lebanon, is a former radical Islamic cleric who was tapped to head the reformist coalition in parliament in August.
He also headed Bayan, one of more than 20 newspapers closed by the courts in a crackdown which began in April after the reformists won their majority and also saw many newspaper chiefs and journalists arrested.
Mohtashami has refused to appear in a special clerical court over the alleged infractions of his newspaper and no new date has yet been set for the trial.
The new parliament, the sixth since the Islamic revolution of 1979, holds 290 seats, and is dominated by reformers allied with the moderate Khatami – TEHRAN (AFP)
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