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Ahamdinejad’s clout tested as Iran votes

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Iran’s supreme leader urged Iranians to vote in large numbers as the country held parliamentary elections Friday, saying a high turnout would send a strong message to the enemies of the nation in the nuclear standoff with the West.

The balloting for the 290-member parliament is the first major voting since the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2009 and the mass protests and crackdowns that followed.

It is unlikely to change Iran’s course over major policies — including its controversial nuclear program — regardless of who wins, but it may shape the political landscape for a successor to Ahmadinejad in 2013.

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