TEHRAN -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Wednesday called the presidential election on Friday as “decisive”, assuring Iranians that the solution to their problems is to go to the polls and cast their vote.
“The enemies of Islam and Iran are against your elections. Therefore, elections are a virtuous act, and those who want to do a virtuous deed, their elections are the righteous act,” the Leader told the nation in a televised address.
“Elections show the presence of the people on the scene. The presence of the people means that the system of the Islamic Republic has the support of the people. This has a unique effect on the authority of the system and the country.”
The Leader said American and English media, together with their “mercenaries,” have been attempting to drive a wedge between the people and the establishment by trying to discourage voters from participating in the presidential election “because staying away from elections is staying away from the establishment”.
“But the bulk of the people - here, of course, we do not have anything with certain groups that repeat the enemies’ words in the press and cyberspace - have shown that whatever the enemy has wanted, the people have done the opposite,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
The Leader said elections should be viewed beyond factional politics and political leanings. Iran’s enemies, he said, seek to discourage participation in elections because they know that if Iran’s establishment does not have people’s support, they will be able to destabilize the country.
Low participation in the elections, the Leader added, would entail higher pressure on Iran by the country’s enemies, and vice versa.
Ayatollah Khamenei also said elections in the Islamic Republic have always been sound, the proof of which is the fact that presidents of sometimes divergent political viewpoints have been elected in the past.
The Leader also rejected the notion that the June 18 election is not competitive, citing verbal and intellectual clashes that were displayed in the three presidential debates.
Ayatollah Khamenei touched on certain countries “where a tribe runs the state” and “people can’t tell a ballot box from a fruit box”, but they launch 24/7 television networks and propagate that elections are “not democratic” in Iran, in an apparent rebuke of Saudi Arabia.
The Leader said some Iranians are hesitant about participating in the election because they think their economic issues have not been resolved by past administrations.
“I agree with the people’s complaints about the economic situation, but I do not agree with not attending the elections. The solution to the problems is to be present at the ballot boxes,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
The Leader urged Iranian youths who are “always at the forefront and always propelling others forward” to also promote participation in the June 18 election.
He asked authorities to firstly ensure that the safety of voters would not be compromised amid the COVID-19 pandemic, that ballot papers will arrive in time and will not be short at any polling station, that polling can be properly conducted for Iranian expatriates in foreign countries, and that any violation would be confronted.