Iran's constitution says that candidates should be political rajal, the Arabic word for men.

But on Saturday, Gholamhossein Elham, spokesman for the conservative Guardian Council, said the word could also refer to women.

 

"Women who have the necessary qualifications have the right to run in the presidential elections," he told state television.

 

June's poll is expected to end Iran's reform movement, with conservatives tipped to extend their grasp on power to the presidency after taking control of parliament in May.

 

Iran's 2003 Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi has repeatedly said she has no intention of running for the presidency.