Iran’s Ministry of the Interior has disqualified a number of current MPs from running in the upcoming Parliamentary elections.
Ali Motahari, Hamidreza Katouzian, Alireza Mahjoub, Ali Abbaspour Tehrani, Fatemeh Ajorloo, Abbasali Noura, Peymon Forouzesh, Ghodratollah Alikhani and Daryoosh Ghanbari, who have all been involved in strong criticism of the administration over the past year, have been disqualified by the ministry, according to Iranian media.
While the actual reason for the disqualification has not been announced, Ali Motahari says it’s because of the election article demanding belief and commitment to Islam, the constitution and the supreme leadership.
Although Motahari belongs to a conservative group, the Principalists, he has severely criticized the administration and, in the past month, he went so far as to hand in his resignation to the parliamentary speaker over Parliament’s refusal to summon President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for questioning on a series of administrative irregularities.
The deputy head of Parliament, Mohammadreza Bahonar, said disqualifying government critics among the Principalists from running for office is “narrow-minded.”
Peymon Forouzesh maintained that they were disqualified in retaliation for supporting the motion to question the president.
However, Tehran Governor Morteza Tamaddon insisted that the disqualifications were carried out according to the law and in the “interests of the sacred Islamic Republic system.”
He added that the nominees have four days to appeal the decision. The final decision regarding the eligibility of nominees to run in the elections is made by the Guardian Council.
Iran will hold parliamentary elections in March.