Netanyahu slams Iran elections as Khamenei urges high voter turnout
An Iranian clergyman walks past electoral posters of presidential candidates in Qom, south of Tehran, ahead of Friday's elections. AFP image
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not believe that Friday's Iranian elections will bring about any change to Tehran's policies, AFP reported.
Speaking at a press conference in Warsaw, Netanyahu slammed the prospect for political change in Iran.
"These so-called elections taking place in Iran, well unfortunately, they will change nothing of significance," the Israeli PM said, adding that regardless of who is elected as a result of Friday's elections, Tehran's regime "will continue to be led by one man, one ruler (who) will continue Iran's quest for nuclear weapons."
Netanyahu was referring to Supreme Ruler of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who on Wednesday urged Iranian citizens to flood to their local polling stations to ensure that the elections have a high turnout.
"My insistence on the presence of the majority of people in the elections is because the strong presence of the Iranian nation will disappoint the enemy, make it reduce pressures and follow another path," Khamenei said in a speech on Wednesday, reported on his web site, according to Reuters.
"It is possible that some people, for whatever reason, do not want to support the Islamic Republic establishment but they do want to support their country. They should also come to the polls. Everyone should come to the polls," Iran's supreme leader added.
Khameini's comments come as it was revealed Wednesday that the conservatives in the country are struggling to present a unified front in the face of several popular conservative candidates running for office.
Early indications suggest that candidate Hassan Rouhani, who both Khatami and Rafsanjani are now publicly backing, may be a forerunner in the polls.
Also popular is another conservative candidate, Saeed Jalili. Jalili is steadfastly loyal to Khamenei and was previously Iran's chief nuclear negotiator with the west, a position that has gained him much support during his election campaign.
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