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Iran to Probe Iranian Lawmaker's VOA Interview

Iran's Intelligence Ministry has denounced an Iranian member of parliament for giving an interview to the Voice of America Persian Service on Iran's upcoming legislative elections.

Intelligence Minister Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei Wednesday said the ministry will investigate the actions of reformist lawmaker Nouradin Pirmoazen. Mohseni-Ejei said Iranian law bans lawmakers from giving interviews to foreign media.

Pirmoazen criticized the government of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in an interview Sunday with VOA's Persian television news program, Roundtable With You. He said Mr. Ahmadinejad's foreign and domestic policies have isolated Iran from the rest of the world.

Pirmoazen, the parliamentary minority spokesman, also criticized the recent disqualifications of reformist candidates from Friday's elections as "political massacre."

Iran's highest oversight body, the Guardian Council, previously disqualified Pirmoazen from running in the polls.

Iranian authorities can disqualify candidates who are not deemed as showing sufficient loyalty to Iran's Islamic system.

Many of Iran's more liberal reformist candidates have been disqualified from running in the election. As a result, the race will largely be a contest between moderate conservatives and hardline supporters of Mr. Ahmadinejad.

Reformists and conservatives have strongly criticized the mass disqualifications, warning that they undermine the election process.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.