Iran's constitutional watchdog, the Guardian Council, has passed into law a parliament bill that raises the voting age in national elections from 15 to 18, state-run television reported Saturday. The law came into effect immediately, state TV said. Iranians as young as 15-year-old had previously been allowed to vote in some local elections. The new law bars from voting many of the youths who cast their ballot in local elections last month, when hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suffered humiliating defeat. The next legislative elections are due in February 2008, and presidential ones in 2009. "The Guardian Council approved into law a parliamentary legislation increasing the voting age from 15 to 18," Council spokesman, Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei was quoted as saying by state television.