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The Boston Globe

World

Iran hard-liners urge election ban on top rivals

TEHRAN — Hard-line Iranian lawmakers have petitioned authorities to bar two prominent presidential contenders — a moderate former president and a protege of current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — from running in next month’s election, in a further sign of intense political jockeying over the final ballot.

The Tuesday appeal by nearly 100 Parliament members reflects worries over the potential election-swaying influence of former president Hashemi Rafsanjani and Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, a close confident of Ahmadinejad. Both could pull votes from two different directions — Rafsanjani appealing to reformists and Mashaei favored by Ahmadinejad’s backers — and shift attention away from other potential front-runners with close ties to the ruling clerics.

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