Iranian women can run for president: watchdog
Constitutional watchdog says no restrictions for women
There is no restriction on women standing in this year's presidential election, a spokesman for constitutional watchdog the Guardians Council said, according to a Mehr news agency report on Saturday.
"Women have sought to be candidates in the past and the Guardians Council has no special opinion. There are no restrictions and no law on the nomination and assessment of women candidates," Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaye said.
“The Guardian Council has never disqualified candidates only because they have been men or women,” he told reporters. “When a woman's candidacy was rejected it was because she did not have the overall skills."
Former council spokesman Gholamhossein Elham has said in the past that under the constitution only men could be candidates to be president.
The Guardian Council has never disqualified candidates only because they have been men or women
To describe candidates for the presidency, the Iranian constitution uses the word "rejal," which in Arabic implies a man but which in Farsi means a political figure.
"The council has never put an interpretation on the word 'rejal'," Kadkodaye said.
The comments come shortly after former MP Rafat Bayat on Friday told the Mehr News Agency that she plans to run in the upcoming presidential race.
On May 20 the Guardian Council will release a list of presidential candidates who can run in the June 12 election.