Combination of pictures shows the main contenders who registered their names for Iran's upcoming presidential elections: (top L-R) former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Hamid Baghaie, former vice president under Ahmadinejad, neither vetted by the Guardian Council. Iran's first Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri, (bottom L-R) Iranian cleric and head of the Imam Reza charitable foundation Ebrahim Raisi. Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, Mayor of Tehran, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani giving a press conference in Tehran on April 10, 2017. Photo: AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iran’s Guardian Council has released the names of six candidates approved for the country’s presidential election in May that includes the incumbent moderate President Hassan Rouhani and his main conservative rival Ebrahim Raisi.
The Council did not vet the two-time former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or his former deputy Hamid Baghaei.
Ahmadinejad registered his name about a week ago despite the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's advice last year that he should not run again fearing that his candidacy may cause polarization.
Ahmadinejad told reporters that he signed up only to show support for his former deputy Baghaei who also registered for the election.
Over 1,500 candidates registered to run for the post, including several women.
Iranians go to the polls on May 19.