TEHRAN, Iran (Kurdistan24) - Iranian officials refused to register a Kurdish woman for the country's May presidential election because she was wearing traditional clothing, local news agencies reported.
Over 600 prospective candidates have submitted their names, including several women even though women have so far been denied the right to run for the presidency in Iran.
Guardian Council, a powerful clerical body, vets all the applicants and will announce a final list of candidates by April 27.
Candidates have to be male, a follower of a certain sect of Islam, twelve-Imam Shia, and a believer in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Thus, women, dissidents, and religious minorities have so far not been approved for the formal candidate list even though everyone is allowed to submit their name for the initial stage.
The Kurdish father and daughter who appeared with their folk dresses to register were denied entry into the government building.
"I see a lot of problems in my country and I know I have the knowledge and the courage to solve them. That's why I signed up," a prospective candidate told Kurdistan24.
When asked if his religion as a Sunni Muslim would be a reason to disapprove him, he responded that "Shia and Sunni are branches of the same tree. The main body is Islam and I believe in it. They should accept me."
Many see the May 19 election as a referendum on the 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers which is supported by the so-called reformists in Iran.
Iranian hardliners have spoken against the deal despite the country's sanctions-hobbled economy.
Under that deal, Iran agreed to curb its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.