Iran's president resisters to run in May elections

Thirty women registered on the first day alone, but they are blocked from running on constitutional grounds.President Rouhani's time in office has often been marred by conflicts with hardliners who opposed his policies.

He has made much of his successes in controlling inflation and reaching a landmark nuclear deal with world powers that ended many sanctions.

Democracy and democratic elections is attainable by reference to the people's vote and respect to the law, he told reporters after registration.

Rouhani, who is considered politically moderate, has helped pull Iran out of sanctions imposed by the United Nations and the USA, though his critics say he has yet to deliver on many other domestic issues such as the growing unemployment rate.

He said he would continue his past promise to "salvage the economy" and "engage constructively" with the world.

In 2013 presidential elections more than 460 candidates submitted registrations, however the Guardian Council approved the candidacy of only 8 applicants, rejecting the candidacy of Former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Rouhani also mentioned the giant joint gas field, the North Field, Iran will be developing with Qatar.

Ebrahim Raisi, a hard-line cleric close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has announced plans to run promising to fight poverty and corruption.

Current president Hassan Rouhani's another major rival may be former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who joined to elections race despite Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's advice for him to avoid registration in elections.

The conservative-controlled Guardian Council will vet the hundreds of registered hopefuls over the coming week, before releasing a final list of candidates.

The nuclear deal was engineered by the Rouhani administration and went into effect in 2016.

  • Leroy Wright