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Monday, 10 January, 2000, 16:57 GMT
Nouri banned from Iranian election

Tehran crowd Iranians go to the polls next month


By Jim Muir in Tehran

The largely conservative body which supervises Iran's upcoming elections, the Council of Guardians, has decided which of the more than 6,000 candidates should, in its view, be disqualified.

There has been no official announcement but newspapers are reporting one of the most prominent causalities is Abdullah Nouri, the former interior minister and close associate of the reformist president, Mohammed Khatami.

In an election widely seen as crucial in the struggle between reformists and conservatives, many of those said to have been disqualified are reformist.

Confusion

There are predictable discrepancies and confusion over numbers.

The head of the Council of Guardians Election Bureau was quoted by one newspaper as saying that the number of candidates disqualified was less than a handful..


Abdullah Nouri applied from jail Abdullah Nouri applied for re-election from jail
Other reports said some 70 hopefuls had been ruled out in the Tehran area alone.

Nouri's commitment to Islam in doubt

Mr Nouri has been jailed for five years by a special clerical court, but he managed to lodge an application to stand as a candidate from his prison cell.

He is reported to have been turned down for demonstrating insufficient commitment to Islamic regime and for conducting activities against it.

Similar grounds were cited by the council for disqualifying other candidates.

They included Ebrahim Yazdi, the head of the opposition Freedom Movement, which the council deemed to be illegal. So all of its adherents were also turned down, as were a number of other prominent liberal figures.

Less than expected

But even some of those disqualified agreed that the casualty list could have been much longer.

Many candidates on the left or reformist side of the spectrum had survived.

There is also an elaborate appeals procedure.

Some of those disqualified were cautiously optimistic that they might still be reinstated.

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See also:
09 Jan 00 |  Middle East
Khatami allies barred from election
08 Jan 00 |  Middle East
Khamenei attacks Iran's reformists
17 Dec 99 |  Middle East
Khamenei targets reformers
11 Dec 99 |  Middle East
Sign-up time for Iran poll
12 Dec 99 |  Middle East
Khatami stirs student passions
02 Feb 99 |  Middle East
Analysis: The forces for change
08 Mar 99 |  Middle East
Reformists triumph in Tehran poll
10 Jan 00 |  Middle East
Iranian minister to meet Blair

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