EghtesadOnline: Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei called on Iranians to fully participate in the Feb. 21 parliamentary election and make wise choices in order to form a strong legislature.
The Leader was addressing thousands of people from the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan on the occasion of the uprising by the people of Tabriz on Feb. 18, 1978, Leader.ir reported.
"The only way to disappoint the enemies is by strengthening Iran and one of the features of a strong Iran is a powerful parliament that can make the country immune by passing appropriate laws," Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
A fundamental principle of a strong parliament, according to Ayatollah Khamenei, is a massive election turnout, and the other is the quality of people's selections.
He said voting is a religious and national duty, and a way to uphold people's right to determine their country’s destiny.
"All those who love Islam, the  revolution, the Islamic system and Iran must come to the polls and make a right choice," he said.
The Leader described elections as a "public jihad", saying the upcoming parliamentary poll is an occasion when public presence is essential.
All Eyes on Friday Vote
Friends and foes have their eyes on the Friday election … Enemies want to see the outcome of America's maximum pressure, Europe's unfaithfulness and economic problems in the country, while friends are anxiously waiting for the quality of public presence at the ballots, the Leader said.
Iran has been facing economic difficulties due to the sanctions reimposed by the United States after its unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal in 2018 and the European parties' inability to counter the effects of the so-called maximum pressure despite pledges.
Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that election is a means of foiling the evil plots of the US and Israel against Iran.
He pointed to Washington's efforts to influence Iranians and separate them from the Islamic government, saying their plans have been futile.
"A clear example is the funeral of Martyr [Qasem] Soleimani and the Bahman 22 [Feb. 11] demonstrations," the Leader said, expressing hope that the parliamentary election will once again show that people stand by and support the Islamic system.
Major General Qasem Soleimani, the head of Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, was assassinated in early January by US drones in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
Millions of people in Iran and thousands in several other countries took to the street for his funeral to protest against the US aggression.
Iranians also reiterated their opposition during the Feb. 11 rallies that are held annually to commemorate the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
Ayatollah Khamenei referred to recent remarks by American authorities about Iranian elections, saying they are aimed at disappointing people about the ballots.
The US State Department released a video on Friday in which US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook characterized Iran's elections as fraudulent.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi reacted on Monday, urging US officials to focus on fixing their own country's "nontransparent" and undemocratic system before questioning the legitimacy of elections in other countries.
The Leader said such remarks also stem from America's desperation after the assassination of Soleimani backfired on them.
"By assassinating our dear major general, America wanted to dominate the region, but it turned out the opposite way," he said, citing anti-US processions in the region.