TEHRAN – Women cannot contest Iran’s June 14 presidential election, a member of the Islamic state’s electoral watchdog said in media reports Friday, dashing the hopes of some 30 female candidates.
“The law prohibits women from being president,” said hardline cleric and former judiciary chief Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, quoted by the Mehr news agency.
Yazdi is a prominent member of the Guardians Council, an unelected watchdog controlled by religious conservatives and appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that is tasked mainly with vetting candidates. Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, it has rejected all female candidates for the presidency, although women have been allowed to serve as lawmakers.
A final list of hopefuls who can contest the June 14 poll is expected to be announced early this week. Some 686 people have registered their candidacy.