Khamenei Urges High Turnout in Iran Presidential Election

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on all Iranians to take part in this month’s presidential election to create a “political epic.”

The objective is “to have people’s glorious presence at ballot boxes,” Khamenei said in an speech outside of the Iranian capital today aired live on state television. “Whoever you vote for, it will be a vote for the Islamic Republic, you will be indicating your trust in the political system.”

The presidential election on June 14 will be the first since the 2009 vote, which sparked street protests amid allegations that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election was the result of ballot fraud. Ahmadinejad can’t run for a third time in this month’s contest.

Khamenei was addressing a crowd of supporters gathered for the annual ceremony commemorating the death of Islamic Republic founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. He said he had no favorite among the eight candidates participating in the race. The shortlist was drawn up from among more than 650 candidates after a screening process by the Guardian Council based on their qualifications and loyalty to the Islamic Republic.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ladane Nasseri in Dubai at lnasseri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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