Khamenei in tough sermon defends presidential election, warns protesters

In his first public appearance since the disputed presidential election of June 12, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran’s enemies sought to shake the people’s confidence and trust in the Islamic regime. They suffered an earthquake and the Islamic regime won a celebration. Revolutionary Guards commander Mohsein Rezai was the only one of the three losing presidential candidates to be present at the mass-attended Friday sermon at the main mosque in Tehran.
The street rallies, Khamenei charged, were used as the cover for Western “armed terrorist groups” who attacked Bassij militiamen and Tehran University of Tehran students. He said the “street riots” are the wrong way and must stop, or else their leader would be held responsible for the consequences.
Without trust, the voters would not have turned out in such numbers, said Khamenei. He asked rhetorically: How can voting be rigged when there is a difference of 11 million votes [between the candidates]?” and won loud cheers. He criticized the mutually vituperative campaigns of winner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and loser Mir Hossein Mousavi and attacked the allegations of corruption against Rafsanjani and his family. But he said he and the president were close on foreign policy. This was an expression of support for Ahmadinejad’s approach to the US.
They shouted “Death to America!” when the supreme leader poured contempt on what he called US repression in Afghanistan, its destruction of Iraq and treatment of the Palestinians.
Khamenei attacked the United Kingdom as the most treacherous of Iran’s enemies.
The audience shouted: “Death to the UK, Israel and the US!”
Three months ago, he said, “I heard whispers of a rigged vote.” He accused the Zionist-ruled media of stirring up treasonable crowd demonstrations. “But the vote was free and transparent. All the candidates and their campaigns were within the revolutionary establishment. None of the four came from outside. There was no campaign for and against the Islamic regime. The election showed religious democracy for all the world to see and how it brought the people together in solidarity behind the Islamic revolution.”
The audience cheered loudly when Ahmadinejad’s name was said and again when he said corruption should be fought.

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