Iran opens registration for May 19 presidential election

TEHRAN: Iran has opened registration for those hoping to run in the May 19 presidential race.

The official IRNA news agency said Tuesday that prospective candidates can register through the end of Saturday. They will then be vetted by the Guardian Council, a clerical body that will announce a final list of candidates by April 27.

President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate, is eligible to run for another term. Ebrahim Raisi, a hard-line cleric close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Hamid Baghaei, a close ally of former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have announced plans to run.

The election is expected to serve as a referendum on the 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers, under which Iran agreed to curb its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.