Iran cleric asks candidates to respect law, avoid mudslinging

A senior cleric has called on Iran’s presidential candidates to adhere to the Constitution while avoiding mudslinging against their rivals and pro-Western gestures.

Addressing a ceremony to mark the 24th anniversary of the departure of the late founder of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini, on Tuesday, Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami also criticized certain candidates for their excessive concentration on Iran’s economic problems.

“Cultural issues set the foundation for economic issues, but this significant point has been neglected in speeches made by some presidential candidates,” Khatami said in the northwestern city of Tabriz.

He highlighted the need for “constructive criticism” to help accelerate the country’s progress, but regretted that a number of candidates have engaged in smearing campaigns instead.

The cleric also warned the candidates against pro-Western slogans, and insisted that reconciliation with the West should not be taken as a solution to all the problems Iran is faced with, especially in the area of economy.

“The presidential candidates and the understanding people of Iran must know that Iran’s [previous] reformist administration displayed too much flexibility toward the West, and they in return, called Iran [part of] the ‘Axis of Evil’ in the world,” he said.

“The candidates should learn from the country’s past policies and know that reconciliation with the West will result in irreparable harm to the Islamic [Republic of] Iran,” the cleric stated.

Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami also called on the candidates to abide by the law despite constitutional shortcomings and help the winner of the upcoming presidential election by proposing plans.

Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, President of the Center for Strategic Research of the Expediency Council Hassan Rohani, lawmaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili, former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, former First Vice President Mohammad Reza Aref, and former Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Gharazi will compete in Iran’s 11th presidential election.

On June 14, Iranians will cast their ballots at over 66,000 polling stations across the country, and some 285 polling stations will be set up for Iranian nationals in other countries.

By Press TV


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