AFP: The White House said Wednesday it had “very low expectations” for Iran’s parliamentary elections later this week, saying the results were unlikely to reflect the people’s will. WASHINGTON (AFP) The White House said Wednesday it had “very low expectations” for Iran’s parliamentary elections later this week, saying the results were unlikely to reflect the people’s will.
“All I can say is we have very low expectations that people will be able to actually express themselves and their will because the Iranian people really don’t want to be isolated and unfortunately the current regime further isolates them by their actions,” said spokeswoman Dana Perino.
She spoke after Iran’s leaders urged voters to send a defiant message to the West by participating massively in Friday’s elections after a muted campaign expected to consolidate hardline control of parliament.
Iranian authorities have been keen to minimize political divisions and make a show of national unity amid the tensions over the Iranian atomic drive, which Washington charges is an unacknowledged effort to develop nuclear weapons.
Perino’s comments came a week after the UN Security Council tightened sanctions against Tehran over its refusal to heed the world body’s calls to freeze uranium enrichment, a potential weapons-making process.
Ahead of the vote, Iranian reformists have expressed fury that hundreds of their candidates were disqualified in vetting for Friday’s polls while conservatives have accused leading moderates of being too close to the West.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged Iranians to turn out en masse and said people should not vote for candidates who were too close to the Islamic republic’s Western enemies.
“One factor is that whenever someone does not make a clear distinction between themselves and the puppets of the enemy, it shows that this is not the best candidate for the parliament,” Khamenei said.