Iran's President Hassan Ruhani is not allowed to run again after two terms in office
Photo: Iranian Presidency / imago images / ZUMA Wire
The Interior Ministry in Iran has registered almost 600 candidates for the presidential election on June 18.
The authorities announced that 40 women and 552 men were among the 592 applicants.
All applicants must now be checked and confirmed by the so-called Guardian Council.
The names of the presidential candidates are to be published by the end of the month.
The list of the most promising candidates includes almost 30 names.
Among them are Vice-President Eschak Jahangiri, Head of Justice Ebrahim Raisi and the former Speaker of Parliament and nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani.
Ex-President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, the reformer and former women's representative in the presidential office, Sahra Shodjaei, and Mohsen Haschemi Rafsanjani, a son of the late former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, have thrown their hats into the ring.
President Hassan Rouhani is not allowed to run again after two terms.
Probable three-way battle
According to the assessment of the Iranian media, despite the many applicants, it will amount to a three-way battle between the reformer Jahangiri, the arch-conservative hardliner Raeissi and Larijani, who is considered to be moderate-conservative.
It is to be expected that ex-President Ahmadinejad will be rejected by the Guardian Council because of his harsh criticism of the electoral system.
The enormous number of applicants is due to a law according to which virtually every Iranian can apply for the office of president.
Although the Guardian Council prescribes certain criteria, including four years of political work experience, the Ministry of the Interior must still accept every application.
However, the majority of applicants are rejected by the Guardian Council.
mjm / dpa