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Iran's President Seeks More Free, Fair Elections

  • Associated Press

In this photo released by official website of the office of Iranian Presidency, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani addresses election officials in Tehran, Jan. 21, 2016.

In this photo released by official website of the office of Iranian Presidency, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani addresses election officials in Tehran, Jan. 21, 2016.

Iran's president is lobbying for more free and fair elections in Iran, saying moderate and reformist political factions should also be allowed to run in next month's parliamentary elections.

Hassan Rouhani's speech on Thursday is a stab at Iran's constitutional watchdog, which has disqualified large numbers of moderates and reformists from running.

Rouhani says that "the Parliament is the house of the people, not a particular faction.''

He said that while religious and other minorities — such as Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians, whose combined population in Iran numbers less than 500,000 — each have four members in parliament, larger groups should also be represented.

Rouhani asks, "what about a faction that has up to 10 million supporters'' — a reference to the estimated number of supporters of moderates and reformists.

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