Huge election turnout would highlight ‘Islamic democracy’: Zarif

March 11, 2017

TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Saturday that a huge turnout in the upcoming presidential election would bear out the success of “Islamic democracy”, ISNA reported.

“Inshallah, with their glorious presence at the voting booths, Iranian people will boast to the world about Islamic democracy” Zarif said while attending a ceremony to unveil a new portal of the Foreign Ministry.

Presidential and council elections are scheduled to be held on May 19, when President Hassan Rouhani will seek a second term.

Zarif further said that unlike certain countries, people in Iran accept the results of the elections no matter who wins the presidency.

“All disputes will end at the voting booths,” he said.

He also hailed the nation’s massive turnout in the 2013 presidential election, when Rouhani defeated five rivals.

Under Iranian election law, a candidate must win more than fifty percent of the total vote to become president, otherwise the two leading candidates compete in a second round.

The foreign minister also called on relevant authorities to protect and respect the votes, which, quoting the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who have called votes “the right of people”.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif dismissed the notion that Iran was drawn to the negotiation table to discuss its nuclear program after President Rouhani was elected.

“Iran has always been ready for negotiations and it was the Westerners who realized that the sanctions have failed to achieve their goals when they saw the glorious presence of the nation at the voting booths,” the chief diplomat noted.

He also called on all countries across the globe to speak with the Iranian nation with respect, and not with threats and warnings.

MH/PA

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