News from Iran:

More than a third of the Iranian parliament resigned Sunday and the speaker delivered a stinging rebuke to the hard-line Guardian Council for its disqualification of hundreds of liberal candidates in upcoming elections….On Saturday, [“reformist” President] Khatami suggested his government would call off the vote, which he called undemocratic because hard-line Islamic clerics have disqualified more than 2,400 liberal candidates. “My government will only hold competitive and free elections … the parliament must represent the views of the majority and include all (political) tendencies,” Khatami said, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency. Hours later, doctors confined Khatami to his home for treatment of what a senior presidential aide told The Associated Press was a longtime back problem exacerbated by stress.

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