In an address to the nation, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that by voting, Iranians ensure the safety of the republican system. Khamenei said that if the turnout is low, it will allow the enemy to coerce Iran with the intention of making the country a hotbed for terrorism. Khamenei said that Iranians should not take advantage of their democracy and look to Saudi Arabia, where citizens “don’t know a ballot box from a fruit box”.
In a controversial interview with Sputnik, former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a potential contender in this year’s election, stated that it would be “logical” to include Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in negotiations to restart the JCPOA nuclear deal. His statement contradicts the Foreign Ministry’s rejection of Saudi involvement in negotiations, and comes one day after the Supreme Leader stated that the next president should revive the nuclear deal.