Coming just a month after sanctions were lifted under Iran's nuclear deal with world powers, the outcome of yesterday's vote is being seen as a de-facto referendum on President Hassan Rouhani's government.

A political moderate, Rouhani is hoping an alliance with reformists can eliminate or at least curtail conservative dominance of parliament, giving him a chance of passing social and political reforms.

At least 33 million out of 55 million eligible voters took part in polls for the parliament and the Assembly of Experts - a powerful clerical body that appoints the country's supreme leader - interior ministry Hossein-Ali Amiri told state television.

A second round will be organised in a number of cities for seats where no candidate received more than 25 percent of votes, he said, without providing further details.

Definitive results must be confirmed by the conservative- dominated Guardian Council - charged with monitoring the vote and are not expected for several days.

As well as 290 MPs, voters were also selecting the Assembly of Experts, an 88-member committee of clerics responsible for monitoring the work of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Lawmakers are elected for four years, but the assembly has an eight-year term. Should Khamenei, who is 76, die during that time its members would choose his replacement.

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