TEHRAN -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Friday urged voters to turn out for this month’s presidential election, warning that staying away would mean doing the work of the “enemies of Islam”.
Iranians are set to elect a successor to President Hassan Rouhani on June 18 amid widespread discontent over his government’s mishandling of the economy.
“Some want to give up the duty to participate in the election with absurd reasons,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a televised speech on the anniversary of the passing away of Iran’s revolutionary father Imam Khomeini.
“It is the will of the enemies, the enemies of Iran, the enemies of Islam and the enemies of religious democracy,” the Leader said.
“It has been said that some people are reluctant to go to the ballot box due to the pressures on their livelihoods, which we all know and experience,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, adding that such problems are solved “by making the right choice, not by not choosing”.
“What would be the solution if there is any weakness in management? Standing aside or choosing a popular and Islamic management in the true sense of the word?” the Leader said.
The Leader also quoted Imam Khomeini, saying that, under certain circumstances, to abstain from voting is “one of the worst deadly sins”. Imam Khomeini, the Leader said, viewed elections as a “manifestation of people’s will” and participation in elections as “a religious duty”.
Ayatollah Khamenei further advised voters not to trust mere words and pledges on the part of the presidential candidates, saying, “It is action that counts.”
Imam Khomeini’s Revolution Stronger Than Ever
Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran is stronger than ever as the country marked the 32nd anniversary of the passing away of its revolutionary founder Imam Khomeini.
“I start the discussion from here that among the revolutionary systems and establishments that have been formed in the last one or two centuries, I do not know of any system that has been predicted as much as the Islamic Republic to collapse,” the Leader said.
“From the first day of the revolution, the ill-wishers and those who could not digest and tolerate this great phenomenon, both inside and outside the country, said that the Islamic Republic would not last for another two months, six months or a year,” he said.
“It was one or two years ago when the esteemed Americans said the same thing and a high-ranking American official stated that the Islamic Republic would not see its 40th anniversary. I do not remember so many predictions of decay and collapse to have been made about any other system,” he added.
Ayatollah Khamenei was apparently referring to former U.S. national security advisor John Bolton’s infamous prediction while addressing a terrorist MKO convention in Paris in 2017.
At the conference Bolton said, “The outcome of the president’s policy review should be to determine
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