Khamenei Opposes Postponing Iran Elections

Iran's supreme leader opposes postponing Feb. 20 elections, siding with hard-liners in a crisis that has paralyzed the nation's political system, a prominent lawmaker told The Associated Press Tuesday.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (search) told President Mohammad Khatami during crisis talks Tuesday that the parliamentary elections must be held as scheduled, reformist lawmaker Rajabali Mazrouei said.

"The leader insisted that elections must be held on Feb. 20 under any circumstances," Mazrouei, who has been barred by hard-liners from running in the polls, said.

The meeting between Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters, and the embattled president was seen as a last chance to ease Iran's worst political crisis in years.

The meeting was also attended by parliamentary speaker Mahdi Karroubi and Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, the hard-line head of judiciary.