Iran Parliament Keeps Hard-Liner

Associated Press

A leading hard-line opponent of Iran's moderate president was reelected Sunday as the head of the country's powerful parliament.

Of the 258 deputies present in the 270-seat Majlis, or parliament, 165 voted to reinstate Ali Akbar Nateq-Nuri as speaker for his third one-year term, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Also reelected were the incumbent 12 members of the parliament's presiding board, Nateq-Nuri's two deputies, three clerks and six secretaries, IRNA said.

Hard-line opponents of President Mohammad Khatami have used their hold on the Majlis in an effort to stall his pro-democracy reforms.

A power struggle between hard-line and moderate factions inside Iran's Islamic government intensified after Nateq-Nuri was routed by Khatami in last year's presidential election.

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