Iran warns West against interference
On Monday, Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, warned foreign governments against meddling in internal Iranian affairs following the Iranian presidential election and the subsequent unrest since June 12, 2009.
“Some leaders of Western countries at the level of president, prime minister and foreign minister openly intervened in Iran’s internal affairs that had nothing to do with them. Then, they said they don’t intervene in Iran’s internal affairs,” Khamenei said in a nationally televised speech.
“These governments must be careful of their hostile remarks and behaviors because the Iranian nation will [react]. We will calculate the interventionist remarks and behaviors of these governments. Definitely, it will have a negative impact on future relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Meanwhile, opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who was declared the loser of the election, but who has alleged that the election was illegitimate, made his first public appearance in three weeks.
“We need to make efforts to show our protest … within the framework of the law,” Mousavi said. “The legitimacy of this government is in question because of the people’s lack of trust. This weakens the government from within even if it preserves it in appearance.”
“When a government doesn’t take shape within the framework of the law, it has no legitimacy in the eyes of the people,” he continued. “This weakens the government and encourages the government to resort to violence against the people.”
The Guardian Council, a twelve-member council of clerics and jurists charged with interpreting the Constitution of Iran, has declared the election for the incumbent, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
The Assembly of Qom Scholars and Researchers in Qom has now called the June 12 vote “invalid” in a statement on the groups’s website.
“Candidates’ complaints and strong evidence of vote-rigging were ignored … peaceful protests by Iranians were violently oppressed … dozens of Iranians were killed and hundreds were illegally arrested,” read the statement by the Assembly. “The outcome is invalid.”
The group has no legal authority and is considered to be politically neutral. It had earlier sent a congratulatory message to Ahmadinejad.
On Saturday, President Ahmadinejad issued a press release in which he said the governments of the Western world “did their utmost to aggrandize problems in Iran’s presidential election in a worldwide scale to deviate world public opinions from devastating financial crisis crippling their economies.”
The statement further alleged that the West had been “creating widespread diseases such as swine flu in an attempt to find a way out of the current turmoil.”