Moderates gain control of Iran parliament

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Candidates backing Iranian President Hassan Rouhani have won a majority in the nation’s parliament and the clerical assembly that selects Iran’s supreme leader, the Associate Press reported Monday.
The results from Friday’s vote, if confirmed, would provide a boost for Rouhani’s efforts to strengthen social and economic ties with the West. It would also reflect support for the nuclear deal signed with the United States and other world powers that is bringing to an end a series of crippling economic sanctions.
The news service, citing Interior Ministry results announced on state TV, said reformists and moderates combined for 158 seats in the 290-seat parliament. Hard-liners won 68 seats, down from 100 in the current parliament. Religious minorities claimed five seats, and 59 seats are subject to a runoff, AP said.
Reuters News Service cited “big gains” for Rouhani’s coalition. Iran’s Fars News Agency, however, said the hard-line Principlists Party had won half of parliament’s seats. Fars said reformists and moderates claimed 44% of the seats and independents 6%; 34 seats face runoffs in April.

There was no immediate explanation for the discrepancy between AP and Fars numbers.
Reformists and moderates also won 59% of seats in the Assembly of Experts, AP said.

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