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Iran's Supreme Leader Warns Against Damaging National Interests In Vote

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned against any attempts to disrupt the May 19 presidential election.

In a May 10 speech, Khamenei said that those disrupting Iran’s national security "will be given a strong slap.”"

The Iranian leader said that if Iranians participate in the vote while observing "legal and Islamic parameters" then the election will be "a source of honor for the Islamic republic."

Khamenei, who has the last say in all state matters in Iran, added, "But if they break the law, operate in an immoral way, or speak in a way that will encourage enemies, then the elections can be seen as a loss."

Iran’s President Hassan Rohani, who is seeking a second term, is facing two main conservative rivals, including hard-line cleric Ebrahim Raisi, who is said to have Khamenei’s support.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Radio Farda and Reuters
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