Iran has started registering candidates for parliamentary elections due to take place in February, a crucial vote that will shape Iran's politics for years to come.

The registration process, which began on Saturday, will last a week. All potential candidates must be approved by the Guardian Council, the country's constitutional watchdog.

Voting for the 290-seat legislature will take place on Feb. 26, and will run alongside elections for the 88-seat Experts Assembly, a clerical body empowered to choose or dismiss Iran's supreme leader.

The parliamentary elections will be seen as a vote on President Hassan Rouhani's moderate policies. Conservatives currently dominate Iran's parliament, but Rouhani's allies received a popularity boost following the Jul. 14 landmark nuclear deal that curbs Iran's nuclear activities in return for the lifting of sanctions.