Tehran's Hardline Mayor Seen Winning Presidency

Iranian voters cheer presidential candidate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iranian voters cheer as presidential candidate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrives at a polling center in Tehran. Reuters hide caption

itoggle caption Reuters

Mahmoud Ahmedinejad will be Iran's next president after a landslide victory over former president Hashemi Rafsanjani, according to reports. If confirmed, the run-off win for Tehran's mayor, considered an ultra-conservative hardliner, ends Iran's closest election in some 30 years.

While it is not yet official due to ballots still being tallied into the early Saturday hours, the victory would be a striking upset over the comparatively moderate Rafsanjani. But critics, including the Bush administration, question the election's impact, citing the influence of clerics who control the government.

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