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Sunday, December 6, 1998 Published at 13:37 GMT

World: Middle East

New Iran party launched

A new political party has been launched in Iran in order to back President Mohammad Khatami.

The party, to be called the Participation Front of Islamic Iran, includes a number of top officials - among them four ministers, several deputy ministers and prominent academics and clerics.

The BBC Iranian affairs analyst says the party will aim to provide for the first time a means of organising supporters of President Khatami, who's regarded as a moderate.

The founding of the party comes at a time of an intensifying power-struggle between the ruling establishment's moderates and conservatives.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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