Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei says the threat of war with the U.S. still very much exists despite claims of the Islamic Republic’s current president that their policy of engagement with Washington has reduced tensions.
Khamenei, who favor hardline candidates in the May 19 elections, played down the benefits of President Hasssan Rouhani’s deal during the Obama administration to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange of lifting of international sanctions.
Rouhani was largely responsible for signing of the 2015 nuclear agreement and pursuing closer ties with the U.S. and Europe.
The Daily Caller reports:
Rouhani encouraged voters prevent “extremism” from returning to Iran on Saturday, warning a hardline candidate could lead to greater authoritarianism.
The Supreme Leader holds the ultimate authority in Iranian politics. The traditionally conservative Guardian Council often weeds out any true moderate candidates from entering elections, meaning many so-called “moderate” candidates are often just softer hardliners.
Rouhani is seeking reelection, but is facing significant pushback from Khamenei and other ultra conservatives.
Iran’s state media quoted Khamenei as saying, “Some say since they took office the shadow of war has been faded away. This is not correct.”
In Iran, the Supreme Leader holds the highest authority in politics. A recent poll indicates that hardliners are expected to return to power in the May 19 election.