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Opponents of Iranian President Win in Local Elections


Opponents of Iran's hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have won nationwide municipal elections held last week, but the Iranian leader appeared unbowed by the results.

Iran's official news agency reports that in an address in western Iran Thursday, Mr. Ahmadinejad derided U.S. President George Bush, saying he is isolated by the world's nations.

Mr. Ahmadinejad did not comment on the election results.

According to final results announced Thursday, moderate conservatives opposed to the president won a majority of the seats in city councils, followed by reformists.

The Iranian president also said Thursday that Iran will "celebrate a nuclear victory soon" - despite moves to impose sanctions on Tehran for its nuclear program.

Britain's U.N. envoy, Emyr Jones Parry, says he expects the U.N. Security Council to vote Friday morning on a revised sanctions resolution.

Britain, France and Germany drafted the resolution. The United States has been pressing for sanctions on Iran for its refusal to suspend sensitive nuclear activities by an August 31 U.N. deadline.

The U.S. and its Western allies believe Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

In the election results in Tehran, moderate conservatives won eight of the 15 seats in the council. Reformists captured four, Mr. Ahmadinejad's allies won two, and an independent candidate won one seat.

Moderate conservatives also did well in elections for a powerful oversight body of clerics, the Assembly of Experts.

Many political observers see the election results as a possible sign of public frustration with Iran's economic situation as well as its increasing diplomatic isolation.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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