Iran reinstates some candidates earlier banned from parliament elections

Iran's hard-line constitutional watchdog has reinstated more than 280 candidates for parliament races next month, but reformists said many remain banned and the move is not enough to ensure a fair election. The Guardian Council's reversal, announced Wednesday, came amid growing criticism by both reformists and conservatives that a wide ban on eligible candidates would risk a low election turnout and undermine the polling. The disqualification of reformist candidates removed a big challenge to hard-liners vying for parliament seats. The elections are seen as a key test of hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's hold on power and a harbinger for the 2009 presidential election.