Iran's hard-liners head into Friday's parliamentary elections burdened by the unpopularity of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
because of an ailing economy. But they have a safety net: Rival
reformists are crippled after the clerical leadership threw out their
The Guardian Council, a body of hard-line clerics and jurists who check
candidates for their loyalty to the revolution, barred more than 1,700
candidates from running, most of them reformers, including their
But maybe I am too harsh on the NDP. We don't bar people from running in elections, we just jail them until they are over.