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Elections in Iran not symbolic: Guardian Council spokesman

The spokesman for Iran’s election supervisory body, the Guardian Council, says voting in the country is not symbolic, as some adversaries of the Islamic Republic claim, and the council is not swayed by political pressure.

In an exclusive interview with Fars news agency on Sunday, Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei said, “Despite the enemies’ false propaganda, and wrong allegations by some people inside the country, elections in Iran have never been symbolic and ceremonial and the Guardian Council, as a national judge of elections…, will not enter any deal on people’s right in the face of political pressure or in order to appease [political] factions.”

He added that the Guardian Council approves qualification of nominees only based on the Constitution and believes that allocation of quotas for various political factions lacks legitimacy.

The spokesman said the Guardian Council assures the Iranian nation that assessing legal conditions of parliamentary elections’ nominees has been done in compliance with reliable evidence and documents without considering their political affiliations.

“Definitely, the Guardian Council assures the noble Iranian nation that it has made all necessary preparations to guarantee healthy and competitive elections, and will fulfill its supervisory duties with more accuracy,” Kadkhodaei said.

Noting that the Guardian Council’s executive, provincial and central committees vet nominees two times, the official added that the body may receive new information at any time, which could lead to a change in its decisions in the second phase of vetting.

Addressing a group of Iranians hailing from various walks of life in Tehran on Wednesday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei called for a high turnout in the upcoming elections, saying a lively vote guarantees the nation’s security and contributes to efforts towards resolving the problems.

“If a general election takes place powerfully and correctly, all the existing problems will gradually be resolved,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

Last week, the Guardian Council said following the preliminary disqualification of some nominees for the upcoming parliamentary elections, 2,000 of those previously disqualified have been approved again after more vetting.