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Iran convenes newly elected parliament amid pandemic

Iran convenes newly elected parliament amid pandemic

Iran’s newly elected parliament convened on Wednesday under strict social distancing regulations. The country is grappling with one of the deadliest outbreaks in the Middle East, with more than 7,500 fatalities among over 139,500 confirmed cases.

Turkey has the region’s largest outbreak, with 156,800 confirmed cases and more than 4,300 deaths.

All 268 lawmakers who were in attendance on Wednesday have tested negative for the coronavirus, according to Iranian state TV.

The newly elected house is dominated by 220 conservative lawmakers, including more than 50 who are close allies of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. There are 38 independent lawmakers and 18 pro-reform moderates, down from 136 in the previous parliament, AP said.