Senior MP questions Canada’s understanding of Iran’s internal affairs

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Iranian legislator strongly condemned the Canadian officials’ interfering remarks about the recent presidential election in Iran, saying that Ottawa and other western governments have no correct understanding of affairs in Iran.

“The western countries have no proper understanding of internal affairs in Iran,” member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Hojjatollah Souri said on Sunday.

His remarks came after Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird reversed his recent remarks about the June 14 presidential election in Iran.

In an “open letter to the Iranian people” published by a Canadian newspaper on June 21, Baird said that “Canada has been listening to the voices of all Iranians who voted for hope and a brighter future in the country’s presidential election”. He then congratulated the Iranian people on the outcome of the 11th presidential election. This is while, on June 16, he had made rude and interfering comments about the presidential election in Iran, describing it as “effectively meaningless”.

Souri said that Baird and other Canadian officials are still continuing their two-sided approach towards Iran despite apologizing for their previous comments. “The Iranian nation has decided about its own future by participating in the election and it doesn’t need the sympathy of certain countries.”

He called on Baird and his colleagues to pay attention to and materialize the demands of the Canadian natives, who have been experiencing discrimination for several years, instead of interfering in the other countries’ domestic affairs.

Baird was faced with massive opposition and objections by the community of the Iranian expatriates and opposition lawmakers after his first comments against Iranian election.

Also, in response to his first comments, the Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Abbas Araqchi, slammed his rude and interfering remarks, and said, “Remarks of this type have been made by the Canadian foreign minister several times, and I have come to the conclusion that one should doubt his (Baird’s) political judgment.”

Millions of Iranians on June 14 went to the polling centers to vote in the country’s 11th presidential and 4th city and village councils elections.

Polling stations opened at 8 am (0330 GMT) last Friday and were scheduled to close at 6:00 pm (1330 GMT) before the Interior Ministry was made to extend the voting hours for several times due to the large voter turnout.

Polling was heavy since the very beginning. Reports from various media outlets said Friday morning that large numbers of people had queued behind closed doors before polling stations opened.

Thousands of additional ballot papers were sent to various Iranian cities after local electoral authorities from different constituencies across the country asked the Interior Ministry to send them more papers due to the unexpectedly large public turnout. A number of 50,483,192 people were eligible to vote in the elections. 1.6 million youths came to be eligible to vote for the first time in their lives as the voting age in Iran is above 18 according to the law.

The Interior Ministry’s election headquarters said turnout among the electorate was 72.7 percent.

Iran’s Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar announced last Saturday evening that from a total number of 36,704,156 ballots cast in Iran’s 11th presidential election on Friday June 14, Rouhani won 18,613,329 votes while his main rival Mohammad Qalibaf could secure only 6,077,292 votes.

By Fars News


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