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Iran’s Khamenei defends pre-election purge of Reformists

Iran’s supreme leader called for high turnout in the country’s upcoming parliamentary vote despite wide public discontent with the candidate-vetting process.
TEHRAN, IRAN - FEBRUARY 05: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY â MANDATORY CREDIT - "IRANIAN SUPREME LEADER PRESS OFFICE / HANDOUT" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei makes statements on U.S. President Donald Trump's Mideast plan during an event marking the 41st anniversary of Iranian revolution in Tehran, Iran on February 05, 2020. (Photo by Iranian Supreme Leader Press Office / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“There are lots of problems in the country, some of which are due to sanctions and some are due to mismanagement,” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei admitted in an address to loyalists in the capital Tehran Feb. 5. “Despite all that, people will come to the battlefield on election day, because it is about the dignity of the establishment and the country’s security.”

Khamenei made the speech ahead of Iran’s parliamentary polls scheduled for Feb. 21. But the run-up to the vote has already been marked by serious questions after sweeping eliminations of moderate and Reformist political forces have made a parliament dominated by hard-liners inevitable.

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