Supporters of Iranian President Abol Hassan Bani-Sadr scored gains yesterday as Tehran votes were counted in the national parliamentary elections, but the rival clergy-dominated Islamic Republican Party continued to hold an overall lead.
Bani-Sadr has said he wants to end the U.S. Embassy hostage crisis, while the right-wing Islamic Republican Party has supported the embassy militants holding the estimated 50 Americans hostage.
First returns from the Iranian capital, which will sent 30 representatives to the 270-member parliament, showed that followers of Bani-Sadr were leading in seven districts against none for Islamic Republican Party candidates.
With more than half the returns counted nationwide, the Islamic Republicans claimed that their candidates had won 34 of 79 districts where a majority had been declared. Bani-Sadr supporters won 16 seats, not counting the Tehran districts.
In The Hague, meanwhile, a spokesman for the World Court said Iran would boycott today's scheduled meeting of the body's 15 justices who are to renew their consideration of the U.S. Embassy takeover. The United States is to formally charge Iran with violations of international law and diplomatic immunity and seek damages.
In Panama City, the deposed shah of Iran is suffering from a cold but will soon have to undergo a critical operation to remove his spleen, a spokesman for the exiled ex-monarch said.