Iran started counting votes yesterday after its parliamentary election in which conservative allies of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are likely to gain a sizeable majority based on partial results.
Iranian authorities are yet to announce the turnout in the February 21 election for the 290-seat parliament, but some early results announced by the Ministry of Interior indicated that the loyalists to Khamenei were set for gains.
It is the first such poll since the US renewed sanctions over Iran's nuclear programme, battering its economy. Observers say authorities were hoping for a high voter turnout as a sign of support for the regime. The field of candidates running in the election was dominated by conservatives.
More than 16,000 contenders - including 90 mostly reformist members of the current Majlis - were disqualified from standing by the Guardian Council, a vetting committee loyal to Mr Khamenei.
On Thursday the US imposed sanctions on five members of the Council for preventing the Iranian people from freely choosing their leaders. (AIR)