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Over 1,000 Register To Run For Iranian President

Washington, 16 May 2005 (RFE/RL) -- A reported 1,010 people registered to run in the 17 June presidential election in five days of registration that ended on 14 May, Radio Farda reported on 15 May, seemingly to the dismay of a member of the Guardians Council, which must verify the eligibility of those hopefuls.

The candidates include prominent politicians, but also 81 jobless aspirants, 19 teenagers, and 250 without a secondary-school diploma, Radio Farda quoted Guardians Council spokesman Gholamhussein Elham as saying in Tehran on 13 May. He wondered if the registration process was a source of "amusement" to some Iranians.

In the last presidential election, the Guardians Council ruled that 10 of 814 registered aspirants, but no women, could run as candidates.

Prominent Iranians who have registered include Mehdi Karrubi, the speaker of the previous, reformist-dominated parliament; Ali Larijani, a former head of state television and radio; Ebrahim Yazdi, a former foreign minister turned dissident; and former police chief Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, "Aftab-i Yazd" reported on 15 May.