Need to Ensure Vibrant Elections, Strong Economy 

Elections are a source of pride and power for the Islamic Republic, and Iran’s adversaries use media campaigns to sabotage them
Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei receives top military officials in Tehran on April 19.   Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei receives top military officials in Tehran on April 19.

Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei highlighted the upcoming elections and the economic situation as top issues, stressing that sound and vibrant elections boost Iran’s immunity to threats and a resilient economy makes the country invulnerable to economic wars.

Ayatollah Khamenei was addressing army officers and commanders on the occasion of National Army Day in Tehran on Wednesday, the Leader’s website reported.

The Leader said Iran’s adversaries use media to mar Iranian elections and make provocations to sabotage the votes, which he described as a source of “pride and power” for the Islamic Republic.

But the Iranian nation, with “awareness and vigilance they have always shown”, will do the opposite to what adversaries want in the concurrent presidential, city councils and midterm parliamentary elections scheduled for May 19, he said.

Over 1,600 candidates have registered for the presidential race and the election watchdog Guardians Council is now busy screening them.

Ayatollah Khamenei said building a robust economy should be the top priority for the government, expressing concern over hostile attempts at exploiting weaknesses of the domestic economy against the Iranian nation.

“The most important task for officials is promoting the principles of Resistance Economy, particularly improving domestic production and employment, making serious efforts to solve peoples’ livelihood issues and standing up to superpowers and not fearing their threats,” he said.

Resistance Economy aims at curbing the economy’s dependence on oil export revenues, improving productivity and reducing the government’s role in the economy.

It was first broached by the Leader in 2011, amid the tightening of economic sanctions against Tehran by the US and its allies over unproven allegations that Tehran intends to build nuclear weapons.

Ayatollah Khamenei designated the current Iranian year after “Resistance Economy: Production and Employment”, a name reminiscent of the previous years’ motto, “Resistance Economy: Action and Implementation”.

The Leader said one of the tricks used by “aggressor powers” to advance their illegitimate interests is to strike fear in the hearts of others and browbeating independent states into obeying their will.

He was alluding to new US President Donald Trump, who has adopted a harsh line on Iran and warned the country after a missile test in early February that it is “playing with fire”.

“The worst thing for a country is that its officials are intimidated by the enemy’s sulking, as it would open the door for its infiltration, aggression and harassment,” he said.

Ayatollah Khamenei noted that the armed forces have a big role in putting up resistance against arrogant powers by protecting national security.

National Army Day was commemorated on Tuesday with military parades across the country, including a ceremony in Tehran attended by President Hassan Rouhani and top military brass.

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