BBC News

Iran election: Cleric rules out women candidates

image captionMehan Javid was among those who registered her candidacy for the presidential election

A constitutional body in Iran has ruled that women cannot run in presidential elections scheduled for 14 June.

Mohammad Yazdi, a clerical member of the Guardian Council, said the constitution ruled out the participation of women.

Thirty women registered as candidates but there had been little expectation they would be allowed to stand.

The Guardian Council is charged with vetting election candidates according to their Islamic credentials.

Observers say there is ambiguity in the constitution about the participation of women in presidential elections in Iran.

However, the latest interpretation appears to put an end to the debate.

The semi-official Mehr news agency quoted Mr Yazdi as saying that the "law does not approve" of a woman in the presidency and a woman on the ballot is "not allowed".

Women are able to stand for election to the Iranian parliament and have served as lawmakers.

Incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cannot run for a third term under the constitution and a total of 686 people have registered to replace him.

The final list of candidates will be announced on Tuesday, with only a handful of names expected on the ballot.

In the previous elections of 2009, 475 hopefuls registered but the Guardian Council only gave its approval to four.

The results of those elections were disputed by the opposition, triggering mass street protests.

Reformist candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi were detained and remain under house arrest.