Anti-Ahmadinejad candidates win big in Iran election
May 5, 2012 -- Updated 1527 GMT (2327 HKT)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suffered setbacks in the country's parliamentary runoff elections.
- Initial results showed critics of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad doing well
- Ahmadinejad alienated Ayatollah Ali Khamenei by challenging his authority
- Iran hold presidential elections next year
- The composition of the new parliament will likely have no effect on Iran's nuclear program
Tehran, Iran (CNN) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, alienated from the country's supreme leader, suffered setbacks in the country's parliamentary runoff elections Saturday in what could be a sign of things to come in the Islamic republic.
Initial results showed candidates allied with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and critical of Ahmadinejad ahead in the polling.
Sadegh Zibakalam, a professor of political science at Tehran University, said the election was "a face-off between pro- and anti-Ahmadinejad conservative factions within the ruling regime."
However, Zibakalam said Ahmadinejad still did well in critical areas like Tehran, though two winning candidates -- Ali Motahari and Ahmad Tavakoli -- are vocal critics of the president.
The runoff election was held Friday in 33 constituencies with 130 candidates competing for 65 seats in the 290-member parliament.
The first round voting was March 2 in which anti-Ahmadinejad candidates won over 180 seats, giving them a majority in the new parliament, state-run Press TV reported.
Over 48 million Iranians were eligible to vote and 64% of them cast ballots in the first round.
Ahmadinejad drew the ire of Khamenei loyalists last year when he challenged the supreme leader's authority in appointing top government officials, analysts said. But Zibakalam said he did not think the parliamentary results would make much difference in the remainder of Ahmadinejad's second and last term in office.
"His power began to weaken awhile ago after his showdown with the supreme leader," he said. "What he wanted to do was groom one of his supporters to be his replacement but I don't think he stands a serious chance of influencing the presidential elections next year.
"He tried to consolidate his power when he challenged the supreme leader and his supporters but that was the beginning of his demise," Zibakalam said.
The election for a new parliament, known as the Majlis, will also have no effect on Iran's foreign policy or its position on nuclear program. Those decisions have been and will continue to be made by Khamenei.
CNN's Reza Sayah contributed to this report
Part of complete coverage on
Iran: Mounting tensions
April 13, 2012 -- Updated 1303 GMT (2103 HKT)
Two months ago, Emad Ghavidel turned on the television in Tehran and saw graphic footage of an injured Syrian child crying out in pain.
March 9, 2012 -- Updated 1438 GMT (2238 HKT)
Iran's biggest customers are responding to increasing pressure to cut imports from Tehran.
March 8, 2012 -- Updated 2244 GMT (0644 HKT)
Faced with mounting pressure from world powers over its controversial nuclear program, Iran's ambassador to the IAEA says this country "is ready to re-engage with (the) IAEA."
March 6, 2012 -- Updated 2152 GMT (0552 HKT)
Republican presidential hopefuls and U.S. President Barack Obama trade barbs over Iran.
March 9, 2012 -- Updated 1456 GMT (2256 HKT)
Why is the international community suspicious of Iran's nuclear program? CNN's Hala Gorani reports.
March 9, 2012 -- Updated 2205 GMT (0605 HKT)
President Barack Obama's rebuke of Republicans who are "beating the drums of war" for military action against Iran should also be directed at Israel, Asher Kaufman says.
March 8, 2012 -- Updated 1751 GMT (0151 HKT)
Opinion: The only way war with Iran may be avoided is if the country believes an attack from the West is a real possibility, Frida Ghitis says.
March 19, 2012 -- Updated 1330 GMT (2130 HKT)
Iran's controversial nuclear program began more than 50 years ago with aid from the West.
March 8, 2012 -- Updated 1639 GMT (0039 HKT)
Recent remarks by U.S. President Barack Obama that he is not thinking of military action against Iran are positive, according to Iran's supreme leader, Iran's state-run Press TV reported.
March 5, 2012 -- Updated 2231 GMT (0631 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance reports U.N. inspectors have "credible information" that Iran may be developing a nuclear device.
March 6, 2012 -- Updated 1931 GMT (0331 HKT)
LZ Granderson looks at the effect of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his nuclear weapons "game."
March 9, 2012 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
A threatened Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear program carries enormous risks for the Jewish state, including international isolation, retaliation at home and abroad, and steep economic costs.
March 6, 2012 -- Updated 2036 GMT (0436 HKT)
Erin Burnett breaks down the mixed messages between Israel and the U.S. on Iran.
March 6, 2012 -- Updated 1834 GMT (0234 HKT)
Israeli President Shimon Peres discusses his concerns about Iran.
Today's five most popular stories