London, 11 May – As they look back on the violence that followed Iran’s disputed 2009 election, authorities are fearful of a repetition, and want to avoid the ferocity of the peoples’ dissent.
According to the state-run IRNA news agency, on Wednesday, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei warned, “Those who ignore the country’s security will definitely be slapped in the face.”
Khamenei’s remarks came during a graduation ceremony in Tehran for cadets in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. He also said that enemies of Iran seek “to create tension and sedition to disrupt order and security.”
His comments followed the intelligence minister’s revelation that his agents have already uncovered a plot to cause disruptions.
Additonally, at the campaign office of President Hassan Rouhani, windows at a were broken by vandals.
Aside from these incidents, no major problems have occurred in the run-up of the May 19 election.
Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election led to months of unrest and dozens of deaths in 2009. Ahmadinejad was blocked by authorities from running in next week’s election.
Khamenei mentioned a “wealthy American Zionist merchant” who tried to interfere with Iran’s 2009 election. Many believe he was referring to liberal billionaire George Soros. Iran became increasingly fearful of Soros in 2008. Soros worked to promote democracy in a number of countries. Iran’s Intelligence Ministry went so far as to include Soros in a computer-animated public service announcement about its new hotline to report suspicion activity. The Open Society Foundations, Soros’ operation based in New York, did not respond to a request for comment.
Mahmoud Alavi, Iran’s Intelligence Minister, said in an interview aired Tuesday night, that his agents broke up a plot that involved gangs of youths paid to fight each other.
Alavi claimed as well, that the ministry had detained suspected members of an Iranian opposition exile group.
Alavi added that candidates must manage their campaigns “in a way that protects national solidarity and integrity while not damaging ethics and values of the society.”
President Rouhani struck the 2015 Nuclear Deal with world powers. Rouhani faces five opponents for the presidency. His chief opponent is Ebrahim Raisi, who is a close ally of Khamenei. Raisi criticizes Rouhani, but has said he won’t pull out of the Nuclear Deal.
However, in a report released Wednesday by an Iranian-backed news agency in Lebanon, Raisi stated, “There is no evidence that the U.S. and the Western countries are abiding by their commitments.”