Despite hundreds of applications, only six candidates have been short-listed, including incumbent President Hassan Rouhani. Here's a brief look at the candidates' profiles.

(top L-R) Mostafa Mirsalim, Mostafa Hashemitaba, Eshaq Jahangiri; (bottom L-R) Ebrahim Raisi, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, Hassan Rouhani.
(top L-R) Mostafa Mirsalim, Mostafa Hashemitaba, Eshaq Jahangiri; (bottom L-R) Ebrahim Raisi, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, Hassan Rouhani.

Iran's conservative-run Guardian Council on Thursday selected six candidates to stand in the upcoming presidential election on May 19.

More than 1,600 candidates had registered last week including 130 women, who did not make it despite signing up.

Iran's former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been disqualified from running in the upcoming presidential elections. Last week, Ahmadinejad surprised the country by registering for elections despite the disapproval of the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iranian state media reported.

Here is a brief profile of the selected candidates:

President Hassan Rouhani

Rouhani has maintained his alliance of moderates and reformists, stabilising the economy and signing a landmark nuclear deal with world powers that ended many sanctions and promised a fresh start with the international community.

But conservatives argue that Rouhani, a 68-year-old cleric, has been duped by the West, a charge bolstered by fresh sanctions coming from Washington under US President Donald Trump.

Rouhani says much has improved and more time will allow him to produce an economic turnaround.

Ebrahim Raisi

The 56-year-old hardline judge and cleric is a close ally of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. With little political experience, Raisi has spent decades in powerful judicial and backroom positions, including as Iran's prosecutor-general.

He is also being considered as the possible future supreme leader. While presidency can be a stepping-stone to reach the top, losing an election could be a deterrent.

For now, he is presenting himself as a humble servant of the poor at a time of crippling economy.

Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf

The 55-year-old Tehran mayor registered at the last minute for his third run at the presidency.

A war veteran, former Revolutionary Guards commander and police chief, he is a staunch conservative. He was runner-up to Rouhani last time, and lost elections after claims of beating students during the 1999 protests. Even though he has powerful backing and experience, some say his campaign will be damaged by an ongoing real estate scandal in his municipality.

He has vowed to create five million jobs and double Iran's revenues – a promise ridiculed as "wildly unrealistic" by opponents.

Eshaq Jahangiri

Rouhani's first vice-president and confidante was a surprise entry. It is assumed he is running to back up Rouhani in the pre-election debates. During his registration, he said he stood "side-by-side" with the president.

However, some say the 60-year-old reformist could be trying to raise his profile ahead of the 2021 elections.

Mostafa Mirsalim

A former engineer and national police chief, the 71-year-old is a member of the Islamic Coalition Party, one of the oldest conservative factions.

Mirsalim was the minister of culture in the 1990s, known for increasing censorship, banning Western films, music and shutting down opposition newspapers.

Mostafa Hashemitaba

Hashemitaba, 71, has a mixed political record. He was a member of the pro-reform Construction Party and voiced his support for the closure of newspapers and clampdown on dissidents in the early 2000s.

He has served in several capacities, first as industry minister in the early 1980s and later as a vice-president. He was head of Iran's National Olympic Committee in the early 2000s.

He also participated in the 2001 presidential elections.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies