Iran’s Supreme Leader declares elections fair

Ayatollah Khamenei warns protesters to stay off the streets

Topics: Iran, War Room, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Middle East,

Iran's Supreme Leader declares elections fair

In a momentous sermon this morning, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared Iran’s recent presidential fair. It was Khamenei’s first public appearance since the outbreak of widespread protests in response to last Friday’s disputed election.

Khamenei spoke sternly and warned protesters to stay off the streets. He said the election reflected the decision of the Iranian people. “Street challenge is not acceptable,” Khamenei said. “This is challenging democracy after the elections.” He warned that opposition leaders and supporters of apparently defeated challenger Mir Hussein Mousavi would be “held responsible for chaos” if the protests continued.



President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in the audience for the speech, during which Khamenei said that the 11 million vote differential between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi indicates that there was no voter fraud. Describing the elections as “historic,” Khamenei said, “The Islamic republic state would not cheat and would not betray the vote of the people.”

There was no immediate response to Khamenei’s speech from Mousavi or his supporters.

The speech came as paramilitaries known as Basijis, who are loyal to Ahmadinejad, announced that they were going to take to the streets Friday to directly confront those protesting Friday’s election results. The Basijis have links to Hezbollah.

Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    "Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>