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Photos: Iraqi expats in Iran cast their ballots

Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran; photos by Mohsen Rezaei

Thousands of Iraqi expatriates went to polling stations across Iran on Friday to cast their ballots ahead of the main polling day for Iraq's general election on Sunday. Around 50,000 Iraqi expatriates living in Iran are expected to vote in the parliamentary poll, Iraq's ambassador to Iran told reporters on Friday.

Elections are important for Iraqis and they want a free Iraq, Ambassador Mohammad Majid al-Sheikh stated. He also thanked Iran for helping to organize the polling, saying that Baghdad received substantial support from Tehran in this regard.

This is Iraq's first election since U.S. troops began withdrawing from Iraqi cities, he added.

The United Nations refugee agency estimates that around two million Iraqis live abroad and that most left after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Friday was also the last day of campaigning in Iraq.

Iraq's ambassador to Tehran

The Iraqi election commission says polling stations have been set up in nearly 60 cities worldwide and the voting is being staggered over three days for Iraqis residing outside the country.

... Payvand News - 03/05/10 ... --

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