Iran''s parliament on Sunday tightened the rules for people wishing to run for president, setting age limits and strict educational criteria in a bid to deter frivolous candidacies.

The move comes ahead of a presidential election set for June 12 next year, when incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected to seek a second four-year term.

As in the old law, the amended version did not mention women. In 2005, none of the 89 women out of the 1,000 people who registered as prospective candidates was allowed to run.

Only seven men were allowed to compete for the post in 2005, when Ahmadinejad won.

Under the amendment to the electoral law, candidates must be aged between 40 and 75 and hold the equivalent of a master''s degree from a university or seminary. The old law did not set age limits or the need for a diploma.

Applicants must be Iranian citizens, loyal to the Islamic republic and be Shiite Muslims, the law says.