Iran starts election campaign with thousands barred from standing

Iran’s week-long parliamentary election campaign started on Thursday, state TV reported, a vote seen as a popularity test for the clerical establishment at a time when relations with Washington are at their worst since the 1979 Islamic revolution. The Guardian Council, which must approve candidates, has rejected around 6,850 moderate or conservative hopefuls in favor of hardliners from among the 14,000 applicants seeking to contest the Feb. 21 vote. “The 7,150 candidates who are running for parliamentary elections have started campaigning on Thursday,” state TV reported.

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