No Privileges To West, Khamenei Tells Candidates

Published on Thursday, 06 Jun 09:50 am

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned on Tuesday that the country's next president should avoid making "concessions" to the west, saying this would not ease tensions over Tehran's nuclear drive.

Ayatollah Khamenei, the ultimate decision maker in Iran, has the final say on all key issues, including its controversial nuclear program, a major source of concern in the West over suspicions the republic is using it to develop weapons.

“Some (candidates) have the wrong analysis that by giving concessions to enemies, their anger towards Iran will be reduced,” he said in a live televised speech.

“This is a mistake.” His remarks came as Iran readies for elections on 14 June to replace President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, during whose tenure the country has struggled to cope with severe international economic sanctions, in particular on the vital oil income.

Eight presidential candidates, most of them conservatives close to the leader Khamenei, have been approved by the Guardian Council, a hardline electoral oversight body, to run in the election.

Addressing them directly, Ayatollah Khamenei said regardless of who wins the poll, they should “promise not to attach importance to the interests of foreigners more than they do to those of the Iranians.”

He branded Iran’s ailing economy, battered by high inflation and unemployment, as the “main issue” before the candidates (Gulf Today).

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