The chief commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says ahead of Friday’s parliamentary elections that every vote people cast in ballot boxes is a slap in the enemy’s face.
Major General Hossein Salami made the remarks while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony on Thursday, saying, “People’s participation in the elections is not merely [limited to] giving a vote or electing a representative [at the parliament].”
“Every vote [cast] by people is like a slap in the face of the enemy that hopes people would not take part in the elections,” the IRGC’s chief commander added.
The Iranian nation has invariably “astounded” the world with its turnout at the polls each time, General Salami added, hoping that this time too, the people would create a “beautiful turn of events” through their “passionate” participation in the legislative elections.
‘Elections represent voice of people’
In a related development on Thursday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said elections in the country serve to send across “the voice of the people.”
The fact that the country has been holding an election almost every year since the 1979 victory of its Islamic Revolution constitutes “an unsurpassed democratic experience,” he tweeted.
Iranians have an inherent right to self-determination, Mousavi added, noting that the Islamic Republic owes the independence, power, and indigenous security that it has enjoyed throughout more than four decades since the Revolution’s victory to ballot boxes.
Iran is to hold elections on February 21 to appoint lawmakers to its 11th Majlis (Parliament) since the Islamic Revolution and also to choose members of the Assembly of Experts.
More than 7,000 candidates are to vie in the polls for 290 parliamentary seats, five of them representing religious minorities.
On Tuesday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said the upcoming elections were taking place at a critical time of US pressure and attempts to drive a wedge between the Iranian nation and government, calling for a large turnout in the polls to foil Washington’s “evil intentions.”
On Wednesday, President Hassan Rouhani too said an inclusive and enthusiastic popular turnout in the polls would enrage the United States, stressing the significant role of the legislative chamber in moving forward the government’s efforts to thwart Washington’s sanctions.