February 26, 2016 1:22 am

Polls open in Iran’s parliamentary elections

Election campaign workers paste an electoral poster, of a group of conservative candidates in the upcoming parliamentary elections, on a wall during a campaign gathering in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016. Iranians will hold elections for their 290-seat parliament on Feb. 26, while both reformists and conservatives have focused on improving the economic situation of the country, which is still feeling the effects of years of international sanctions. On the same day as parliamentary elections, voting will take place for Iran's 88-member clerical body known as the Assembly of Experts, which will one day pick a successor to 76-year-old Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

AP Photo/Vahid Salemi

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran’s state TV says polls have opened in Iran’s parliamentary elections, the first since Iran’s landmark nuclear deal with world powers last year.

At the same time as parliamentary elections, Iranians are also voting Friday for the Assembly of Experts, a clerical body empowered to choose or dismiss the country’s supreme leader.

Some 53,000 polling stations throughout Iran take ballots for Iran’s 290-member parliament and the 88-member Experts Assembly. Nearly 55 million Iranians are eligible to vote. The vote is largely a referendum on moderate President Hassan Rouhani following last summer’s historic nuclear agreement, which curbed Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.

Reformists seeking greater democratic changes and moderates supporting Rouhani are pitted against hard-liners who oppose the nuclear deal and openings with the West.

© 2016 The Associated Press

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