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Kerry Casts Doubts On Looming Iranian Presidential Vote

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at a news conference in Tel Aviv on May 24.
The United States has cast doubt on the credibility of Iran's upcoming presidential election following the mass disqualification of candidates.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during a visit to Israel on May 24 that this week's disqualifications of would-be candidates for the Iranian presidency were "based solely on who represents the regime's interests."
DISQUALIFIED: Banned Rafsanjani Blasts Iran's Leadership

Iran's Guardians Council on May 21 barred the vast majority of potential candidates from running in the June 14 ballot, including prominent contender Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a 78-year-old former Iranian president seen as a relative moderate.

Quiz: Iranian Leaders -- Past And Present

Quiz: Iranian Leaders -- Past And Present

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The council approved only eight of the nearly 700 candidates, mostly hard-liners loyal to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Kerry criticized the "lack of transparency" of the election process and said the handpicked candidates are "highly unlikely" to represent the interests of the Iranian people. (Reuters, AFP