Syrian forces bombarded parts of the shattered city of Homs anew on Saturday and blocked the first Red Cross aid meant for civilians stranded for weeks without food and fuel in the former rebel stronghold, activists and aid workers said.
Conservative rivals of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appear on course to gain firm control of the Iranian parliament, according to early election results.
In a huge embarrassment to the president, his younger sister Parvin Ahmadinejad was defeated by a conservative rival in their hometown of Garmsar.
Of 197 winners declared by midday Saturday, at least 102 were conservatives who turned against Ahmadinejad after he openly challenged the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Among the prominent anti-Ahmadinejad victors were Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, whose daughter is married to Khamenei's son, and parliament speaker Ali Larijani, Iran's former nuclear negotiator.
Six independent candidates opposed to the president have also been elected so far.