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Khamenei Razes Foreign Hope in Iranian Elections to the Ground - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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London – Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei destroyed growing foreign hopes, when he strictly warned Tehran’s six presidential candidates from running their campaigns on promises to establish relations with foreign states.

Their eyes must not fall beyond Iranian borders, Khamenei addressed the candidates in a hint that campaigning on foreign sponsorship for domestic challenges is unacceptable.

Khamenei, who as supreme leader has the final say on matters of state, discouraged candidates from reaching out to other nations.

“The candidates should promise to focus on national capabilities and domestic capacities to resolve the economic issues … rather than looking abroad,” Khamenei said.

Seeking another term in office, ‘moderate’ President Hassan Rouhani expressed optimism towards running a thorough and fair election. Rouhani’s election rival and ultra-conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi said that Iranian efforts and resources are reliable enough to surmount national disputes.

Speaking to an audience of officials, among which were five presidential aspirants, Khamenei discussed the impact of elections on Iranian security, stressing that it “prevents the enemy’s ability to mobilize and strike”.

“They fight against the Islamic Republic of Iran… as “Islam” blocks their interests,” he was quoted as saying.

Earlier in March, the supreme leader promoted “Resistance Economy – Generating Job Opportunities” using the slogan to pass resistance economy policies in mid-2011, reducing Iran’s reliance on foreign transactions under imposed sanctions.

Rouhani’s main hardline rival in the May 19 election, Raisi, has promised to create over 1.5 million jobs a year if elected. Another candidate, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, has promised to create 5 million jobs per year.

Khamenei said that the US threatening-based policy shared by successive US authorities “is a sign of unified malicious intentions harbored by the American political strata.”

He said that “the US did not miss an opportunity on striking Iran.” Saying that things will end badly to anyone targeting the Iranian people, Khamenei added that Iran’s response will be firm.