Iran's Guardian Council announced six candidates "qualified" to run in the May 19 presidential election, including incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, while former President Mahmood Ahmadinejad's candidacy was rejected, local media reported Friday.
In addition to Rouhani, First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf and former Attorney General Seyed Ebrahim Raisi are among the most famous of the six approved candidates.
Although more than 1,600 Iranians, including politicians, actors and ordinary citizens, were registered as candidates for the election, the Guardian Council -- the sole authority for approving or rejecting candidacies -- has already asked famous faces with distinguished executive records to submit their names and said others are not likely to qualify.
Ahmadinejad was advised by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei to refrain from participating in the election, but he surprised everyone by announcing his candidacy on April 12.
The former president had also said he would use his power to gain qualification for close aide Hamid Bagaei, but his candidacy too was rejected by the council.
Although rejected candidates will have four days to appeal the council's decision, the overturning of a rejected application is unprecedented.