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Iran's Guardian Council To Review Poll 'Mistakes'

Tehran, 23 January 2004 (RFE/RL) -- The head of Iran's hard-line Guardian Council today said the council is willing to reverse any "mistakes" made when it banned several thousand liberal candidates from running in parliamentary elections.

Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, speaking at a prayers congregation in Tehran, said the Guardians Council -- which oversees parliament -- will stay within the boundaries of the law.

"There were and there are some misunderstandings about the Guardians Council's work. Mistakes can happen. We emphasized and emphasize again that if a mistake happens, we do not stand by our mistake but where there is law and justice, we are not ready to violate the law either."

Most of those disqualified are reformist allies of President Mohammad Khatami. Reformists have threatened an election boycott and several cabinet members have said they will resign unless the council backs down.

Jannati said the 12-member panel, which has received more than 3,000 complaints from disqualified candidates, will inform candidates of any changes by 30 January.