Iran's Supreme Leader is calling on government officials to put the good of the country ahead of their own differences. Iranian media report that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, told MPs and the head of Parliament that the country's enemies are bent on "weakening Iran's economy, creating differences among officials and weakening Islamic beliefs and sentiments."
Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani (L) and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
He added: "Enemies are overtly focused on paralyzing the Iranian economy and demoralizing the people. All government officials should be vigilant against letting their differences create challenges for the country," Ayatollah Khomeini said.
Referring to the allegations of vote fraud in the 2009 presidential election, which led to widespread protests, Iran's Supreme Leader said: "Even if we look at those events in the best light, the greatest sin and undeniable sin of the seditionists was that they allowed their doubts to turn into a great challenge to the system, which in turn became an attack against the regime and the country."
The Supreme Leader said he is not calling for the unification of all political currents, rather he asks officials to take care that differences of opinion do not develop into a major struggle.
In the past year, there have been unprecedented disputes between Parliament and the administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Parliament has repeatedly accused the administration of disobeying Parliament's approved laws. Most recently, it has challenged government procedures related to merging ministries and appointing new ministers.
Despite the intervention of the Guardian Council, Parliament's watchdog, and the Supreme Leader himself, challenges have persisted between the government and Parliament.
Ayatollah Khamenei insisted that all elections in the Islamic Republic have been carried out with absolute clarity and transparency. He added that the coming parliamentary elections must be carried out in the same manner with no interference.
The Iranian opposition claims that the 2009 presidential election was fraudulent, with the vote rigged to ensure Ahmadinejad's re-election.
Most recently, Ahmadinejad has fallen out of favour with the conservative elite, and some members have accused the government of spending money to secure votes in the next election.
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