Iran's influential supervisory Guardians Council has confirmed that no international observers will be permitted to monitor Friday's parliamentary elections. Guardians Council spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodai said on March 1 that the presence of international observers would be "an insult" to the Iranian people.
People walk past a billboard in Tehran for the March 2nd parliamentary elections
The Guardians Council vets candidates and validates the results of Iranian elections.
Some 3,400 candidates are competing for the 290 seats in Iran's legislature, the Majlis, in the March 2 vote.
Analysts predict a comfortable victory by the ruling conservative faction loyal to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Khamenei's supporters are sharply critical of the government of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad over its handling of the sluggish Iranian economy.
However, both groups are hostile to the West.
Pro-reformists are seen as marginalized and not involved in the elections in a meaningful sense.
With AFP and dpa reporting
Copyright (c) 2012 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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