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Iran: Election nominees approved after initial disqualification

Source: Radio Zamaneh

A number of conservative MPs who were deemed ineligible to run in the coming parliamentary elections, with speculation that it was due to their criticism of the current administration, have now been approved as candidates.

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The Mehr news agency reports that the decision came after an appeal of their earlier disqualification.

Prominent conservative MPs Ali Motahari, Hamidreza Katouzian and Ali Abbasour were among the group that had been disqualified in the first round of the nomination process. Their disqualification was linked by analysts to their staunch criticism of some of the policies of the current administration.

Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani had challenged the announcement and appointed a parliamentary committee to examine the matter together with the Ministry of the Interior.

However, Nader Ghazipour, the Oroumiyeh MP who had protested against the environmental crisis in his region regarding the drying out of Lake Oroumiyeh, remains disqualified.

Abdolajabbar Karami, an independent representative for Sanandaj, is also disqualified.

Ghazipour indicated that his disqualification was directly related to the stance he took regarding the environmental issues in his province.

The disqualified nominees still have a chance to appeal their case to the Guardian Council, the ultimate authority in election affairs.

The final list of candidates will be announced by the Guardian Council in 20 days.

The ninth parliamentary election will take place in March. Almost all government critics, including several reformist groups, have announced that they will not take part in the elections in order to protest the widespread arrest of political prisoners and the closed political atmosphere of the country.

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