Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has told Iranian people that they have a “right to express opinions” in their country’s parliamentary elections, as his ruling party prepares to form a coalition government.
The move comes amid rising tensions with the United States and Western allies over Iran’s nuclear programme and its disputed election of President Hassan Rouhani.
Khamenei also announced a government of national unity on Tuesday to restore stability in the disputed city of Qom, the country’s second largest city, and its surrounding countryside.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said in a statement that the vote was peaceful and called on “all political parties to participate in it and take their seat on the National Assembly”.
The announcement was immediately condemned by some US officials.
A US State Department official told ABC News that the US is “very concerned” about the election results.
“We will continue to work with Iran and the international community to ensure that Iran’s people have the right to participate,” the official said.KHAMIYAH PARLIAMENTARY AGENCYKhamari said the vote would “not be taken lightly”, adding that “the election will be free and fair”.
“We ask the Iranian people to participate and participate freely,” he said.
“The people’s decision is a major step forward for our country.
The election will not be taken easily.”
President Hassan Rouhani’s ruling National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said it is a “great achievement” for the country.
“Our people are very happy with this achievement, but we are very worried about the fact that this is not the only way to change the situation,” spokesman Hassan Ghavami said.
The election will take place on March 22, and the candidates are currently running in 13 constituencies, according to the party.
Khalili said in the speech that the “political and religious freedom” of Iranians is an “inalienable right”, and that it is “in line with Islamic teachings”.
Khamarili said the election process would allow for “the peaceful growth and development of our country”.
The election is also seen as a significant boost to Rouhani’s efforts to win the country back from the grip of US-backed Iran’s Islamic Republic, which is under sanctions imposed over its nuclear programme.
The US says Iran’s election has not been free and impartial.