Top Officer Urges Gov’t to React to Foreign Meddling in Iran’s Elections

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi lashed out at recent moves by foreign parties to influence the upcoming elections due to be held in Iran on Friday, and called on President Hassan Rouhani’s administration to show appropriate reaction.

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) recently encouraged Iranian people not to vote for certain Iranian candidates in the Assembly of Experts elections, which will be held on February 26.

In reaction, General Firouzabadi described the move as being similar to a military interference, and noted that meddling in an independent country’s elections is a “horrible aggression”.

“The country’s foreign policy officials should strongly react to the issue, and protest at the governments of the US and Britain,” he urged.

This is a shameless insult to the Iranian nation and violates the country’s independence and national sovereignty, the Iranian top officer said, calling on the government not to underestimate it.

The remarks came as President Rouhani had earlier in the day stressed that the Iranian nation knows how to vote, and ruled out any advice by foreign parties on the upcoming elections.

“The country’s elections belong to the people,” Rouhani said in an address to a gathering of Iranian laborers here in the capital city, Tehran.

“We do not need the advice of any non-Iranian (side), because our nation is vigilant and conscious, and well-aware of its interests,” the Iranian president said.

The Assembly of Experts and parliamentary elections will be held simultaneously on Friday.

There are currently 290 seats in the Iranian parliament, known as Majlis, elected by direct vote of people in nationwide election for four years.

The Assembly of Experts is also a high-ranking body that elects and oversees the activities of the leader of the Islamic Revolution.

Members of the assembly are directly elected to office by people for an eight-year term. It holds biannual meetings to appoint a new chairman.

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