Iran lawmakers pick Ahmadinejad critic as speaker

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Iran's parliament has re-elected a conservative critic of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the house speaker.

In Tuesday's vote, Ali Larijani got 177 votes in favor of keeping the post for another year. His rival, Gholam Ali Hadad Adel, got 89 votes in the 290-seat assembly. Four legislators abstained and the rest were absent during the vote.

Both candidates are close to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but Haddad Adel has backed a less confrontational approach to Ahmadinejad's administration. Conservatives who once backed the president turned against him after he challenged Khamenei's authority last year.

Conservative opponents of Ahmadinejad won a majority of parliament seats in elections that ended last month.