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Photograph: HINA/ Damir SENČAR /ds

More than 580 of the candidates running in parliamentary elections in Iran this month are women, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry said on Tuesday.

The number of women running for election has doubled since the previous vote four years ago, Hussein-Ali Amiri said, hailing an all-time record for the Islamic country.

More than 1,000 women had originally registered as potential candidates ahead of the vote on February 26.

Pro-reform politicians close to President Hassan Rowhani had set their sights on reducing the gender gap among parliamentary candidates.

"How can a country talk of development and progress, while ignoring the 50 per cent of women in the population?" Rowhani asked at a conference on the issue in Tehran on Sunday.

Rowhani and his supporters have faced headwinds from the country's hardline ayatollahs, who together with conservative politicians have dominated parliament in the previous three legislative periods.

Reformers are aiming to build a coalition with the conservatives' moderate wing, which would essentially rob the Islamic clerics of any real power.

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