With over half the results declared from last Friday's first-round voting for new Iranian Parliament, the fundamentalist Islamic Republican Party (IRP) consolidated its lead Monday by taking 46 of the 69 seats decided so far.
The IRP wants tough terms for the release of the 50 American hostages held here since Nov. 4, while President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, whose supporters numbered only nine of those elected outright, would prefer a diplomatic solution.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini has empowered the future Parliament to negotiate for the return of the Shah and the freeing of the captives.
The balloting has been accompanied by charges and countercharges of electoral fraud, and Mr. Bani-Sadr has called for a systematic investigation of complaints about widespread cheating at the polls. But it appeared unlikely that the first-round voting would be declared void, a possibility raised by Mr. Bani-Sadr.