Iranian state media said the country's electoral oversight council has approved four candidates, including incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to compete in next month's presidential election.

The official IRNA news agency reported Wednesday that the Guardian Council approved Mr. Ahmadinejad, former prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, ex-parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi and the former head of the Revolutionary Guards Mohsen Rezai.

The 12-member council approved the candidates after screening them for their allegiance to Iran's Islamic government system and official religion.

More than 450 Iranians had registered to run for president, including 42 women.

Mr. Ahmadinejad's rivals have criticized his handling of the economy, which suffers from high inflation. However, the president has won praise at home for trying to raise Iran's profile in rocket and satellite technology.

The election is June 12.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.