Election Victory Emboldens Ahmadinejad
Hails sweeping win as observers predict more nuclear tension in Iran
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2008 9:26 AM CDT
Members of Iran's Revolutionary guards write their candidate names on their ballot papers in Iran's parliamentary election in Tehran, Iran, Friday March. 14, 2008.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – More complete results from Friday's Iranian parliamentary elections show Islamist conservatives who support Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s nuclear policy sweeping about 70% of the vote, Bloomberg reports. Pro-democracy candidates, meanwhile, did poorly after clerics blocked many from running. A triumphant Ahmadinejad said the results "stamped a mark of shame and despair on the forehead of Iran's enemies."

The US dismissed the elections' validity as "cooked," and Iran observers say the victory will ratchet up tensions regarding the country's nuclear program. "The nuclear rhetoric could get worse now," said an Ahmadinejad biographer. "The election victory may bring tougher UN sanctions, making Iran’s economic situation all the more difficult."