Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left, talks to Hassan Khomeini, grandson of late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, in Tehran, April 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
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Four-fifths of candidates for the body that will choose Iran's next supreme leader have withdrawn or been disqualified including a grandson of Ayatollah Khomeini close to reformist politicians, in a setback to President Hassan Rouhani.The 12-member Guardian Council, a religious body that oversees elections and legislation, approved just 166 of the 801 candidates for the Assembly of Experts, electoral commission spokesman Siamak Rahpeik was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA Tuesday. A final list of qualified nominees for the Assembly of Experts election is expected to be released on Feb. 16, just ahead of the Feb. 26 election for both the 88-member Assembly and Iran's parliament.Last week, the Guardian Council disqualified more than 7,000 of the 12,000 parliamentary candidates, including almost all reformist candidates and many moderates.
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