Mohammad Yazdi, a clerical member of the Guardian Council, said the constitution ruled out the participation of women.

Thirty women registered as candidates but there had been little expectation they would be allowed to stand.

The Guardian Council is charged with vetting election candidates according to their Islamic credentials.

Observers say there is ambiguity in the constitution about the participation of women in presidential elections in Iran.

However, the latest interpretation appears to put an end to the debate.