Former Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has had his request to run in next month’s election rejected by the Guardian Council of senior Shi’ite clerics who vet such requests. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had criticized the idea, saying a presidential bid by Ahmadinejad would create a "polarized situation" that would be "harmful for the county." Incumbent President Hassan Rohani and hard-line cleric Ebrahim Raisi both had their candidacies approved by the Council.
A total of 1,636 people registered for the election, including 137 women. The Guardian Council traditionally selects between 6-8 candidates to run in a given election, and it announced this week that its list for next month’s polls will be released by the 23rd of April.
In related news, U.S. President Donald Trump said during a White House press conference with visiting Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni on Thursday that Iran is "not living up to the spirit" of the 2015 JCPOA nuclear agreement. He added that "We're analyzing it very, very carefully and will have something to say about it in the not-too-distant future."
Finally, a delegation of officials from Iran's arch-enemy Saudi Arabia was in Washington this week for consultations with the Administration. During the visit, a presentation was made at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Saudi Arabia's economic reform plan and other steps Rhiyad is taking to address the threat from Iran.