Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei today warned the nation of the challenges facing the country during the upcoming parliamentary elections. Khamenei made the remarks during sermons he delivered at Eid Fitr prayer in Tehran, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan which was observed on Wednesday in Iran.
“We have the upcoming Majlis (parliamentary) election in Esfand (March 2012). By its nature, an election creates a sort of challenge for the country,” Ayatollah Khamenei said. “But elections are manifestations of people’s participation in (political process) and our religious democracy and the backbone of our country’s stability,” he added [Fars News Agency, 31 August].
“We need to be vigilant that (the elections) do not turn into a challenge for the country’s security and stability,” Khamenei added.
“The people, the officials, the clerics and the political activists should be careful and vigilant against these challenges,” the ayatollah said. “There is a need to be vigilant against the attempts of our enemies to undermine the country's (security and stability).”
During the last nationwide elections in Iran, the 2009 presidential elections, the country witnessed the largest anti-government demonstrations in the history of the Islamic Republic, events that came to be known as the “Green Movement.” The upcoming parliamentary elections will be held amid a rising tide of popular protests, uprisings and regime changes in the region, potentially creating strong “challenges” for the government.
Photo: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivering Eid Fitr prayer sermons. Tehran, 31 August 2011. IRIB photo