The registration for the 11th presidential election of Iran has come to an end with 686 individuals having signed up for the race. The registration which began on Tuesday March 7 at Iran’s Interior Ministry ended on Saturday at 6 p.m. (1330 GMT).
A number of prominent Iranian officials registered to participate in the election including Chairman of Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Head of the Secretariat of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Esfandiyar Rahim-Mashaei, Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei and former First Vice-President and Reformist candidate Mohammad-Reza Aref. Principlist lawmaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, Principlists Alireza Zakani, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Saeed Jalili, former Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Velayati, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf and Vice-Speaker of Majlis Mohammad-Hassan Aboutorabi-Fard are among other hopefuls. The president of Iran is elected for a four-year term in a national election, and the Guardian Council vets the candidates for qualifications. The Iranian Constitution stipulates that presidential candidates must be religious or political figures, be Iranian in origin, have Iranian citizenship, have resourcefulness and managerial skills, have no criminal record, be trustworthy and pious, and have firm belief in the fundamental principles of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the country’s official religion.