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Mojtaba Zolnouri, a former top official with Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard, left, talks on his mobile phone as the other clerics queue to cast their ballots during the parliamentary elections at Masoumeh shrine in the city of Qom, 78 miles (125 kilometers) south of the Tehran, Iran, Friday, March 2, 2012. The balloting for the 290-member parliament is the first major voting since the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2009 and the mass protests and crackdowns that followed.. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Ahmadinejad rivals rack up wins in Iran

Conservative rivals of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appeared on course Saturday to gain firm control of parliament after elections that could embolden Iran's nuclear defiance and give the ruling clerics a clear path to ensure a loyalist succeeds Ahmadinejad next year.