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Monday, March 8, 1999 Published at 11:19 GMT

World: Middle East

Reformists triumph in Tehran poll

President Khatami: The municipal poll endorsed his ideas

Reformist candidates have triumphed in the Iranian capital, Tehran, in the country's first municipal elections.

Jim Muir: Results show which way the political wind is blowing
A total of 13 out of the 15 final places in the new local government were filled by candidates of the Iran Islamic Participation Front.

Two of the top four candidates were women.

The Iran Islamic Participation Front established specifically to support reform-minded President Mohammed Khatami, whose efforts to bring about change have been hampered by the conservative dominance of many powerful institutions.

Comeback for impeached minister

Leading the field in Tehran was Abdullah Nouri, one of President Khatami's closest associates, who received 600,000 votes.

Mr Nouri was Iran's interior minister until he was impeached last year by a parliament still dominated by right-wingers.

Conservatives also tried invalidate his election candidacy through a vetting committee which they control.

A former adviser to President Khatami, Saeed Hajjarian Kashani, took the second highest number of votes.

Victory for women

Third and fourth place in the electoral race went to women.

One of the successful candidates, Jamilah Kadivar, is the sister of Mohsen Kadivar, who was arrested last week on the orders of the clerical court and charged with insulting the late Ayatollah Khomeini and supporting the dissident Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri.

Results from the rest of the country have still to be confirmed, but observers say that trends in the capital often give an idea of the direction of political developments in Iran as a whole.

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