Cleric calls for massive turnout in parliamentary polls

February 7, 2020 - 20:10

TEHRAN — Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani, a Tehran Friday prayer leader, has called on Iranian people to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections in massive numbers.

“The greatness of Iran is that people come to the ballot box and the enemy becomes astonished,” Emami Kashani told worshippers in Tehran on Friday.

“The enemy looks at the crowd, [seeing] that the people, with every taste, have come to the ballot box,” he said, according to Mehr.

The cleric said if the Islamic Revolution had not occurred, the United States and Israel would have completely dominated the Muslim world.

Iran itself was under U.S. and Israel dominance in all political, economic, moral and cultural issues, he said.

He also said the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution coincides with the 40th day after the martyrdom of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.

“We are indebted to General Soleimani for our security, Emami Kashani said.

U.S. President Donald Trump ordered strikes that martyred General Soleimani, chief of the IRGC Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), on January 3.

In the early hours of January 8, the IRGC attacked the U.S. airbase of Ain al-Assad in Anbar province in western Iraq as part of its promised “tough revenge” for the U.S. terror attack.

Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, told the Arabic-language daily Asharq al-Awsat on January 23 that Esmail Ghaani, who is successor of General Soleimani, could also be assassinated.

Responding to the remarks, IRGC Chief Hossein Salami warned the U.S. and Israel that none of their military commanders will be safe should they take action against Iranian generals.

“The Americans and the Zionists beware that if they threaten our commanders with assassination and if they implement their threat, life of none of their commanders will be safe,” Major General Salami said.

‘Deal of century is a scandal for Washington’ 

Elsewhere in his sermon, Emami Kashani pointed to Trump’s so-called “deal of the century” as a “scandal” for Washington, saying the world will realize that this plan is awful.

“It is quite odd that a handful of thieves and enemies intrude into the homeland of Palestinian people, take their homes and lives, and in the end, they say let’s divide [the land] and the true owners do not have any rights about it,” he said.

“They bill this as the deal of the century, but it is nothing other than a scandal,” the cleric added.

Addressing a pro-Israel audience at the White House with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by his side, Trump announced the general provisions of the plan late in January.

The White House claimed that the plan is the most serious, realistic, and detailed plan ever presented, one that could make Israelis, Palestinians, and the region safer and more prosperous.

“This Vision is just the first step and provides the basis for historic progress toward peace. The United States hopes this Vision will lead to direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians,” it added.

Following Trump’s announcement, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said “a thousand no's to the deal of the century.” Palestinians also took to streets in Gaza and the West Bank to protest the plan.

MH/PA

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