TEHRAN, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Iranian officials are calling on voters to turn out Friday in what could be a key election in the Islamic republic.
Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel, chairman of a cultural committee in the Iranian Parliament, said a heavy turnout in the Friday parliamentary election would strike a serious blow to Iran's enemies, state-funded broadcaster Press TV reports.
He said mass turnout would thwart plots launched against Tehran's adversaries, particularly efforts to block Iran's pursuit of peaceful nuclear technology. Many governments have said they believe Iran is working on the technology needed to make a nuclear weapon.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last week called for support from the country's Revolutionary Guard Corp. and members of the volunteer Basij militia to back his supporters in favor of those supporting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, The Daily Telegraph newspaper in London reports.
Ahmadinejad fell out of favor with the ruling cleric after securing a second term in divisive 2009 elections.
Radio Zameneh, a Dutch broadcaster sympathetic to the Iranian opposition, notes there are divisions among some of Iran's most high-ranking clerics. Grand Ayatollah Ali Mohammad Dastgheib Shirazi is quoted as saying Khamenei's actions should be scrutinized closely.
There are more than 3,400 candidates competing for 290 seats in the Iranian Parliament.