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Iranian Runoff Elections Under Way; Parliament's Makeup At Stake

Iranian President Hassan Rohani

Iranian Runoff Elections Underway; Parliament's Makeup At Stake

Iranians are voting in a second round of parliamentary elections on April 29 that will determine the makeup of Tehran's parliament, where no party currently holds a majority.

Nearly 17 million are eligible to vote, and the first results will be known in the evening.

Sixty-eight of the assembly's 290 seats are at stake. President Hassan Rohani's moderate and centrist allies made big gains in the first round of elections on February 26, but they failed to win a majority.

Rohani's success in the February elections was attributed, in part, to his achievement of economic relief due to the lifting of international sanctions in January under Iran's nuclear deal with world powers.

Rohani hopes to repeat that success in the second round.

Iran has experienced some significant economic benefits since the end of sanctions, including a 50 percent increase in oil exports to key markets in Asia.

But Tehran has complained that some relief has come too slowly, and has blamed Washington for maintaining financial restrictions that make businesses hesitant to invest in Iran.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, AP, and dpa