Eight members of Iran’s parliament have been disqualified from running for reelection next year, according to the initial results of the vetting process by the Guardian Council, an unelected body that disqualifies election candidates it deems insufficiently loyal to the clerical establishment.
The disqualified lawmakers include two members of the Minority Faction in parliament and several critics of a controversial "Chastity and Hijab,” which proposes extensive penalties for women opposing wearing the mandatory hijab.
Gholamreza Noori Qazaljah, the representative of Bostanabad and the leader of the Minority Faction, took to the social media platform X to announce his intention to protest his disqualification.
Jalil Rahimi Jahanabadi, a member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission and the vice chairman of the Minority Faction, also announced his disqualification on X.
Shargh newspaper reported the disqualification of three representatives of Tabriz – Ahmad Alirezabeigi, Masoud Pezeshkian and Alireza Manadi Sefidan.
Alirezabegi told the paper he had been disqualified due to a conviction in a case related to revelations that dozens of MPs were given SUVs to scrap a motion last year to impeach the minister of Industry, Mines and Trade.
Mohammad Khodabakhshi, the representative of Aligodarz, Jalil Mukhtar (Abadan) and Jalal Mahmudzadeh (Mahabad) are also among the MPS who have announced their disqualification.
According to the official IRNA news agency, 24,829 candidates are seeking to run for the 290-seat parliament in the general elections set for March 1, 2024.
The vote will be the first since anti-establishment protests erupted across the country last year.
Iran has been mired in a severe economic crisis since the United States restored crushing economic sanctions on the country in 2018.
The value of the national currency, the rial, has plummeted, erasing many Iranians’ life savings and fuelling inflation, leaving many Iranians struggling to meet basic needs.