“Contrary to what certain media seek to portray, the Constitutional Council never pursues a restrictive and prohibitive approach [towards elections] rather than an enabling approach,” Kadkhodaei said in a radio interview on Tuesday.
Referring to the Council’s recent interpretation of the law governing the necessary qualifications of presidential hopefuls, he said that the Council and its regulations do not set any “special ban” on candidates and the overseeing body never follows such an approach.
“We believe that everyone who is capable and thinks has the necessary qualifications should apply for the post”, Kadkhodaei said.
Last week, the Council, which is tasked with vetting all candidates hoping to contest general elections, released an amendment to a measure that it had ratified earlier in order to clarify the criteria that apply to candidates applying for the post of president.
Under the Council’s new interpretation, all nominees must be between 40 and 70 years of age, hold at least a master’s degree or its equivalent, have a work experience of at least four years in managerial posts (with specific criteria of its own), and have no criminal record.
Notably, top military commanders with the status of major general and higher are also allowed to run.
Article 115 of the Iranian Constitution states that a presidential candidate must, among other things, be a political and religious personality.
The Iranian presidential election registration period began on Tuesday, May 11. The Council will have until May 25 to examine the documents submitted by the hopefuls. It can extend the date by another five days if needed. The overseeing body will then release a final list of presidential candidates on May 26-27.
Slated for June 18, the next presidential election in Iran will be held simultaneously with council and midterm parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections.