Abbas Kadkhodayi

Iran’s Guardian Council has given itself five extra days to determine the eligibility of presidential hopefuls, saying it will announce the eligible candidates on May 21.

ISNA reports that the five-day extension has been reported to the Interior Ministry as required by regulations.

The Guardian Council is looking at more than 600 applications from candidates for the 11th presidential race.

The issue of eligibility is specifically controversial regarding Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, the moderate cleric who’s gathering reformist support, and Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, the preferred candidate of current president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Many conservative figures have called for both of these candidates to be disqualified.

Abbas Kadkhodayi, the council spokesman, emphasized that its criteria is based on the law, and public statements cannot change those criteria.

The presidential election is scheduled for June 14.