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    Nearly 250 candidates rejected for Assembly of Experts election

    TEHRAN, Sept 29 (AFP) -Nearly 150 candidates have been cleared to take part in next month's elections for a new Assembly of Experts, a cleric-controlled body which chooses Iran's supreme leader, the interior ministry announced.

    A total of 396 people had submitted candidacies for the October 23 vote for the 86-seat Assembly of Experts, which has the authority to appoint or dismiss the spiritual leader of the Islamic regime.

    The Council of Guardians, a conservative clergy-dominated body which screens electoral hopefuls in the Islamic Republic, rejected 247 candidates, most of them close to moderate President Mohammad Khatami.

    Supporters of Khatami had demanded that women and non-clerics be allowed to take part in the elections for the Assembly of Experts, dominated by members of the conservative Shiite Moslem clergy.


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