Iran's Election Dilemma: Supreme Leader Calls for Maximum Turnout Amid Western Tensions

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has called for maximum voter turnout in the upcoming presidential election to counter perceived Western adversaries. His comments appear to undermine reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian, who supports better relations with the West. Khamenei's address, coming after recent unrest and economic challenges, drew chants of 'Death to America' from attendees.

PTI | Dubai | Updated: 25-06-2024 13:56 IST | Created: 25-06-2024 13:56 IST
Iran's Election Dilemma: Supreme Leader Calls for Maximum Turnout Amid Western Tensions
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
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  • United Arab Emirates

In a fervent plea for political engagement, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged citizens to achieve a 'maximum' voter turnout in the week's presidential election, framing it as a crucial measure to counter 'the enemy.' Khamenei denounced politicians who he claimed believe that positive changes come solely from the United States, his remarks indirectly targeting the sole reformist candidate, Masoud Pezeshkian, a heart surgeon advocating for renewed Western ties.

The supreme leader's statements were enthusiastically received by a boisterous crowd chanting 'Death to America, death to Israel,' during a gathering marking the Shiite holiday of Eid al-Ghadir. The 85-year-old cleric had to repeatedly calm the crowd. His message comes in the wake of a recent helicopter crash that killed hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi, and following a parliamentary election marked by historically low turnout. Amidst widespread voter apathy and economic despair driven by Western sanctions, this presidential election tests the nation's resolve.

Adding to the complexity, recent civil unrest, particularly following the 2022 death of Mahsa Amini and ongoing protests against mandatory hijab laws, continues to shape Iran's volatile political climate. Khamenei's call for voter participation seeks to leverage nationalistic fervor against a backdrop of profound societal and economic challenges.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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