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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 February, 2004, 22:45 GMT
Full text: Ayatollah's address
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei votes in parliamentary elections in Tehran
Khamenei said the elections were free
In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. O dear and proud nation. You went to the ballot box and you truly created an Islamic and national epic.

The enemy waged a psychological warfare campaign for two months.

It did not pursue any aim other than dashing the hopes of the Iranian people and lowering turn-out at the elections.

However, you demonstrated your awareness and ability to take advantage of suitable opportunities once again.

Now the people of the world can assess your performance. You visibly demonstrated the greatness of our faithful and revolutionary nation to your enemies.

'Foiled plot'

Interventionist imperialists were day-dreaming and they sought to portray the Islamic Republic as being deprived of its popular base.

However, you obliterated that baseless idea. Over the last two months, the enemy concentrated all its efforts on executing this malicious plot and praise be to the power of God, you acted with dignity and intelligence and foiled it.

The [20 February] elections were held under the enemy's propaganda bombardment and, therefore, they were even more important than the elections held in the years of holy defence (reference to the Iran-Iraq war, 1980-88) when our cities were being bombarded.

I am a humble servant of God and I express my gratitude to Almighty God for his assistance to this country and this nation and for enabling them to have this unforgettable experience.

'Vote was free'

Once again, I would like to say that I truly praise you brave and faithful nation for your greatness and I do so from the bottom of my heart.

Yesterday's elections were completely free and they were completely fair and legal. Regardless of the result, it is completely credible.

From the point of view of our people and officials of our country, the judgement of American imperialists who have been talking nonsense about these elections is absolutely worthless.

I think it is necessary for me to thank all executive and supervisory officials, as well as those who were responsible for upholding law and order. I would also like to thank our media, particularly our national media.


My advice to our officials is as follows; firstly, you should safeguard the people's votes and remain trustworthy. Secondly, you should express your gratitude to this loyal and dear nation.

My advice to those who will form the seventh Majlis (parliament), thanks to the people's votes, is to make use of their scientific, social and political capacities and to do their utmost to serve this nation and to strengthen the lofty and magnificent edifice of our Islamic state.

They are merely the people's trustees and their religious and revolutionary duties are to make efforts to work hard and serve the people.

My advice to political associations, groups and parties is to abandon the distressing debate about who won and who lost. Thus they should refrain from exacerbating disputes which only make our enemy happy.

'American Zionism'

The nation is the winner of these elections. All of those who participated in the elections, be they those who either themselves, or their favourite candidates, gained votes, or those who failed to gain votes. They are both winners.

Those who lost the elections were America, Zionism and the enemies of the Iranian nation.

You should work together and you should help each other and help the government, which is serving the people. In this way, our problems will be solved one after the other.

May God be satisfied with all of you and may he bestow his mercy and blessings upon you and grant you assistance.

I salute the remnant of God, may our souls be sacrificed for him. I salute the immaculate spirits of our martyrs and their Imam who has a lofty status. May God bestow his blessings upon you.

As broadcast on Vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran Network 1 at 1730 GMT on 21 February 2004 and compiled by BBC Monitoring.


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