Iran's Ahmadinejad disqualified from presidential election
An Iranian panel charged with vetting candidates approved the country's incumbent president and five challengers but disqualified former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from running in next month's presidential election, state television reported.
The decision by the Guardian Council means that President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate, will face off against a field that includes two prominent hard-liners: Ebrahim Raisi, who is considered close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf.
Other presidential candidates who made the cut, according to an Interior Ministry statement carried by state TV, include moderate Senior Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, former conservative culture minister Mostafa Mirsalim, and former pro-reform vice president Mostafa Hashemitaba.
Khamenei had advised Ahmadinejad not to run, and his attempt to become a candidate was widely seen as a public snub to the Supreme Leader, which is nearly unheard of in the Islamic Republic, the AP reported.