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Iranian President Appeals For Calm After Reformists Barred From Elections

Tehran, 11 January 2004 (RFE/RL) - Iranian President Mohammed Khatami has urged his supporters to react calmly to a move by conservatives to bar large numbers of reformists from running in next month's parliamentary elections.

Khatami made the appeal today after a cabinet meeting, saying he did not agree with the actions of the Guardians Council, which vets the suitability of candidates for public office.

Iranian reformist deputies say they plan to stage an all-night sit-in at the national parliament tonight to protest the action of the Guardians Council. One reformist deputy, Elaheh Koulaiee, said that of the 210 reformists in the 290-seat parliament, 80 had seen their candidacies rejected by the Guardians Council.