Strong Turnout Guarantees Sound Elections

Strong Turnout Guarantees Sound ElectionsStrong Turnout Guarantees Sound Elections

The Leader of Islamic Revolution said a high turnout and voters' discretion in selecting the most qualified candidates could ensure the soundness of the forthcoming parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections, both scheduled for February 26.

Speaking in a meeting with officials in charge of elections in Tehran on Wednesday, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said two points are crucial to holding sound votes.

"The first is the participation of all eligible Iranians, even those who oppose the establishment," Ayatollah Khamenei was quoted as saying by his official website.

"Some may have issues with the system, but normally they should have no issue with the country's security, progress and dignity. If they favor improvement of national security and dignity and guaranteed progress and development, they should participate in the elections."   

The Leader noted that if the Iranian nation has a good, strong and decisive presence at the polls, it will be a source of pride and honor for the Islamic Republic of Iran.

"A sound election is also characterized by voters' thoughtful consideration before casting their ballots," he said.

"Those who are elected should be ones who are dedicated to shielding the country from problems and promoting national interests and public services and do not betray their country."

  Opposition to Embassy Attacks

Iranian protesters, outraged by the Saudi execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shia cleric, on Jan. 2, attacked the Saudi missions in Tehran and Mashhad, prompting the kingdom to cut bilateral ties the next day.

While denouncing the storming of the Saudi embassy, he said such a mistake by a small group should not be used as an excuse to treat "revolutionary and religious" groups loyal to the system as rejects.

"Some are frequently referring to loyal and dedicated religious groups as extremists … This very bad and wrong incident should not be blamed indiscriminately on all religious groups and faithful and revolutionary youths," he said.

"The assaults on the Saudi Embassy and earlier on the British Embassy were damaging to both Islam and national interests."

Ayatollah Khamenei voiced satisfaction with the gains achieved as a result of the July 14 nuclear deal, which went into effect on Saturday, but said he believed the negotiators "could have done better".

The Leader praised the performance of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps with regard to the recent detainment of US naval forces who had drifted into Iranian territorial waters aboard two boats in the Persian Gulf.

The detainees were released the following day.