Iran MPs urge ban on Rafsanjani, Mashaie presidential runs

DUBAI - Some 100 legislators are demanding a ban on two top independent candidates including ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani from Iran's June presidential election in what may be a further move to thwart any brewing challenge to the clerical supreme leader.
The petition by parliamentarians to Iran's Guardian Council emerged three days after the electoral watchdog said outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may face charges for accompanying former aide Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, the other high-profile independent, to register on Saturday for the vote.
That warning raised speculation that the council would bar Mashaie. The parliamentarians - conservative hardliners loyal to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei - appeared to follow up by urging the watchdog to disqualify both independents.
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