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Iranian Opposition Says It Will Not Compromise

Tehran, 16 January 2004 (RFE/RL) -- The head of Iran's main reformist party vowed today that parliamentarians barred from running for re-election next month will not compromise with hard-liners who drew up the blacklist.

The comments from Mohammad Reza Khatami came shortly after Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani today said a recommendation by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to review the list of banned candidates will be fulfilled.

Khatami, head of the Islamic Iran Participation Front and a brother of President Mohammad Khatami, said some 3,600 disqualified candidates must all have their candidacies approved. His comments were made during the sixth day of a sit-in by reformist deputies at the parliament, or Majlis.

The sit-in began after the Guardians Council -- a conservative group of six appointees that screens all electoral candidates -- barred nearly half of some 8,000 pro-reform candidates, including some 80 sitting lawmakers, from participating in next month's 20 February election.