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Hardline Tehran Mayor Leads Iran's Presidential Runoff

  • VOA News

Iranian election officials say hardline Tehran Mayor Mahmood Ahmadinejad has a significant lead in early results in Iran's runoff presidential election.

An aide to his opponent, former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, said the figures indicate he will lose. Election officials say the Tehran mayor receieved more than 60 percent of the first ballots counted. Mr. Ahmadinejad is a veteran of Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution. He has pledged to defend the country's nuclear program from Western criticism. He also promised to fight corruption and give more Iranians access to the country's oil wealth. Mr. Rafsanjani is also considered to be a conservative, but promised to improve ties with the West and make social and political reforms. Final results are expected Saturday.

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