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Iran pares election roster in favor of hard-liners

With less than a month until Iran's parliamentary elections, the already-dim chances for strong voter turnout are fast diminishing amid a sweeping removal of Reformist candidates from the competition.

Iran’s powerful Guardian Council has purged many Reformists from the ranks of would-be candidates for the fast-approaching parliamentary elections, including many incumbents.

The council, controlled by hard-liners, vets hopefuls in all Iranian elections with the exception of city and village council polls. Its strict qualification procedures for the Feb. 21 vote have seen 90 current legislators sent out of the game, not to mention thousands of first-timers. Council spokesman Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaee cited "multiple grounds" on which candidates had been rejected, including alleged corruption, embezzlement, drug use or dealing and a bevy of other possible convictions and misconduct.

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