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    IRAN: RUSSIANS COME TO POLLS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE

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    TEHERAN, MARCH 12, RIA NOVOSTI - Close on 60 per cent of franchised Russian nationals currently in Iran have come to the presidential polls for now on a pre-term arrangement, reports Mikhail Pashkov, Minister-Counsellor of the Russian Embassy.

    The poll, which he described as "calm and smooth", involves the ambassadorial personnel with family members come of age, the staff of Russian agencies in Iran, and Russian students of Iranian-based higher schools. A large group of undergraduates made a 165 kilometre way from Qazvin to Teheran for the purpose.

    Mr. Pashkov hopes the election will have a good turnout. Voting in Iran will close at 20.00, local time, or 19.30, Moscow time, March 14, and the returns will be subsequently dispatched to Moscow according to procedure.

    Four polling stations are available in Iran-at the embassy in Teheran, in Bushehr-a cantonment for Russians engaged in nuclear plant construction on the east Gulf coast, at the Consulate General in Isfahan, and in Mashad, with its large team of contracted Russian pilots.

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