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Iran: Guardian Council says will not persist on "possible mistakes" in poll bans

Secretary of the Guardian Council (GC) Ahmad Jannati said in Tehran on Friday that the GC will not persist on its "possible mistakes" in disqualifying hopefuls from the February Majlis elections, IRNA reported.

Jannati, delivering a sermon at Tehran Friday prayers, stressed that the council, however, will never violate the law either.

He recalled the recent meeting of President Mohammad Khatami and Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi with GC members to discuss the disqualifications, and said Khatami and Karroubi had realized in the meeting that the data they had received regarding the issue had not been accurate.

"The quality of checking the qualification of elections hopefuls from the very early stages in supervision committees to the last judgments in the GC are all calculated, legal and accurate," Jannati told the worshipers at Tehran University campus.

The GC secretary further stressed that the meeting of Khatami and Karroubi with the council was a sign of "good understanding".

Jannati stressed that several ministers of Khatami's cabinet had also contacted the council about the disqualifications, and had been justified regarding the issue.

He said the directives of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei during the recent meeting of GC members with him must be carried out, stressing that the directives must not be considered as advice.

Jannati said the GC is obliged to observe Ayatollah Khamenei's directives, adding that the Supreme Leader had already stressed the same issues in his other meetings with the council.

He stressed that the GC will strongly carry out its constitutional duties regardless to political considerations or factional bias, and expressed hope that people would show a massive turnout at the Majlis polls.

Jannati said Ayatollah Khamenei stresses that the qualification of elections hopefuls must not be stringent, adding that the council had always observed the Supreme Leader's concern to that effect.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the GC secretary lashed out at the US and the European Union (EU) for commenting on Iran's internal affairs, and said such comments are clear signs of interference in Iran's domestic developments.

"They do not feel ashamed for interfering in the most domestic issues of a country. They think it is still the era of Shah when they could take whoever they desired to power in Majlis or the cabinet," Jannati said.

"That time is gone. They (the Europeans and the US) still have the wrong and old colonial thoughts and do not understand that there has been a religious and popular revolution in this country and people are supporting that revolution."

The GC secretary stressed that the Iranian people never let anyone interfere in Iran's internal affairs.

"Any interference is forbidden. If Iran has good ties with the EU that never means that they can interfere in our affairs," Jannati said.

"Relations have their own place as do the regulations."

... Payvand News - 1/23/04 ... --

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