Legislative elections begin in Iran

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's state TV says polls have opened in Iran's parliamentary elections, the first major voting since the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2009 and the mass protests and crackdowns that followed.

Nearly 47,000 polling stations throughout Iran take ballots for Iran's 290-member parliament, a vote seen as a political battleground for competing conservative factions in the absence of major reformist parties, which were kicked out of power over the 2009 post-election riots. More than 48 million Iranians are eligible to vote.

The vote is unlikely to change Iran's course, regardless of who wins but a high turnout will be seen as a major boost for Iran's ruling Islamic system.

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