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The power struggle in Tehran between moderates and hard-liners is heading toward a showdown in next month's elections, which could shape the political balance in Iran for years to come.The Feb. 26 elections will select 285 members of the Iranian parliament, or Majlis, and 88 members of the so-called Assembly of Experts, which will choose the eventual successor to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.A political barometer closely watched by U.S. officials is the candidacy of Hassan Khomeini, the popular grandson of the ayatollah who embodied Iran's revolution.More than 200 other religious candidates for the Assembly of Experts had also skipped the exam, this Iranian source said.The deepening political divide in Iran contrasts with what U.S. officials say has been a recent consolidation of power within the royal family in Saudi Arabia, Iran's bitter rival across the Gulf.The confrontation this past week between Iran and Saudi Arabia was a reminder that 37 years after the Iranian revolution, the aftershocks are still rocking the Middle East.
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