World

Hard-line Iranian lawmakers urge ban on former president, another candidate in June election

In this Saturday, May 11, 2013 photo, former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, waves to media, as he registers his candidacy for the upcoming presidential election, while his daughter Fatemeh, smiles at second right, at the election headquarters of the interior ministry in Tehran, Iran. On Saturday  Rafsanjani's made a last minute surprise decision to enter Iran's presidential election process, which now includes more than 680 hopefuls and will culminate June 14 with just a handful of names on the ballot to succeed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In one of his first statements since joining the race, Rafsanjani spoke in general terms Sunday of seeking a new ``economic and political'' rebirth in a time of ``foreign threats and sanctions.'' (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Saturday, May 11, 2013 photo, former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, waves to media, as he registers his candidacy for the upcoming presidential election, while his daughter Fatemeh, smiles at second right, at the election headquarters of the interior ministry in Tehran, Iran. On Saturday Rafsanjani's made a last minute surprise decision to enter Iran's presidential election process, which now includes more than 680 hopefuls and will culminate June 14 with just a handful of names on the ballot to succeed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In one of his first statements since joining the race, Rafsanjani spoke in general terms Sunday of seeking a new ``economic and political'' rebirth in a time of ``foreign threats and sanctions.'' (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)  (The Associated Press)

Hard-line Iranian lawmakers have petitioned authorities to bar two contenders — a moderate former president and a protege of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — from running in next month's presidential election.

According to a report Wednesday by the semi-official Fars news agency, about 100 lawmakers appealed to the country's Guardian Council, which vets and short-lists all those seeking to run in the June 14 election.

One of the lawmakers, Javad Karimi Qodoosi, says they want ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani barred for supporting the opposition in the disputed 2009 vote.

Qodoosi says the lawmakers also want the Council to disqualify Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, a close confident of Ahmadinejad, for his alleged un-Islamic attitudes.

Rafsanjani and Mashaei last week submitted their candidacies to the Council, which is to announce the finalists later this month.