Conservative speaker re-elected in Iran
TEHRAN, Iran, May 30 (UPI) -- Iran's 270-seat parliament has overwhelmingly
re-elected its conservative speaker, Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri, to another
one-year term, signaling a further decline in the legislative power of
the supporters of Iran's reformist president, Mohammad Khatami.
The official Iranian news agency IRNA said Nouri received 161 votes,
while left-wing reformist Majed Ansari received 85 votes out of the 246
members attending today's session of the 270-seat Majlis, or parliament.
Analysts said Nouri's victory indicates the overwhelming conservative
trend in the Majlis. Since Khatami was elected president two years ago,
his government and supporters have been in a clear battle with conservatives,
who strongly control the legislature and judiciary.
Today's vote came one day after the controversial arrest of IRNA director
and chief editor of the official Iran Daily, Fereydoun Verdinejad, who
was detained Saturday for six hours before he was released on a bail of
180 million Iranian riyals ($200,000).
Verdinejad, said to be close to Khatami, was summoned to the ``press
court'' after 30 complaints were filed against him by state-run television,
20 conservative legislators and the judicial organization of the armed
forces and police.