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Iran hard-liners urge election ban on 2 candidates

Leaders try barring ex-president Rafsanjani for supporting the opposition and a confidant of Ahmadinejad for ‘un-Islamic attitudes’

Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani waves as he registers his candidacy for the presidential election, May 11, 2013, before he was disqualified by the Guardian Council. (AP/Ebrahim Noroozi)
Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani waves as he registers his candidacy for the presidential election, May 11, 2013, before he was disqualified by the Guardian Council. (AP/Ebrahim Noroozi)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Hard-line Iranian lawmakers have petitioned authorities to bar two contenders — a moderate former president and a protege of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — from running in next month’s presidential election.

According to a report Wednesday by the semi-official Fars news agency, about 100 lawmakers appealed to the country’s Guardian Council, which vets and short-lists all those seeking to run in the June 14 election.

One of the lawmakers, Javad Karimi Qodoosi, says they want ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani barred for supporting the opposition in the disputed 2009 vote.

Qodoosi says the lawmakers also want the Council to disqualify Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, a close confidant of Ahmadinejad, for his alleged un-Islamic attitudes.

Rafsanjani and Mashaei last week submitted their candidacies to the Council, which is to announce the finalists later this month.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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