Ayatollah Khamenei

Iran’s Supreme Leader commended the people for participating in the presidential election and said even those who “were not for the regime” but were concerned for the country’s national interests “showed confidence in the system” by participating in the process.

In a speech on Wednesday June 26 in Tehran, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “I told our dear nation that people who like their regime will obviously vote, but there are some whose heart is not with the regime but are concerned for their country and its interests, they should come and vote as well. I suppose there were some people who voted as part of such a group. This shows that even those who do not support the regime, they trust it and know that the Islamic Republic can protect the national interests and honor.”

Ayatollah Khamenei also commended the defeated candidates for congratulating the winner, describing their behaviour as “decent and lawful.”

He compared it to the last presidential election, saying his problem with the last election was that the candidates had not allowed the people to enjoy their victory.

The election of 2009 was challenged by the reformist candidates MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, and was followed by mass street protests that were violently put down with the consent of the Supreme Leader.

The reformist candidates insisted that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory was rigged, and their persistence in their allegations finally landed them under house arrest.

Yesterday, Majid Ansari, a member of the Expediency Council, told the Mehr news agency that Ayatollah Khamenei had sent a directive to all armed forces and members of the clergy to refrain from interfering in the elections and not lend the Friday Mass prayer tribune to any of the candidates.

Hassan Rohani, the most moderate candidate and the one endorsed by the factions least associated with the Supreme Leader, won the election.