Khamenei: US Trying to Influence Elections

February 17, 2016
On February 17, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that the United States is trying to influence the results of Iran’s upcoming elections for Parliament and the Assembly of Experts. In East Azerbaijan province, he said that U.S. criticism of the Guardian Council, the powerful body that vets candidates, is meant to cast doubt on the legitimacy of elections. Khamenei also criticized an unnamed U.S. official for saying that Washington would make sure no one would dare invest in Iran. “That’s why I repeatedly said the United States cannot be trusted,” he added.

Secretary of State John Kerry, however, recently cautioned against any U.S. effort to support President Hassan Rouhani’s camp in the elections. “The worst thing we could do is meddle,” he said in an interview with The Washington Post on February 9. The following are excerpts from Khamenei’s speech.