Irans Supreme Leader Speaks For First Time Following Election Protests

06.19.09 | FL News Team

The supreme leader of Iran called for calm today during his first public address since last week's disputed presidential election plunged the Islamic Republic into political upheaval. During Friday prayers in the capital of Tehran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was fairly re-elected. He blamed allegations of voter fraud on propaganda from Iran's "Zionists" enemies, particularly media organizations run by the U.S., the U.K. and other nations.

Ayatollah Khamenei held up Iran's high voter turnout in last week's election as proof that Iranians endorse the government. He said it shows the rest of the world that Iran's religious democracy is one of the healthiest democracies in the world. However, he conceded that if some people have doubts about the election, those concerns should be investigated in legal ways.  

Meanwhile, Khamenei's calls for Iranians to band together behind Ahmadinejad seem to have fallen on deaf ears. Supporters of defeated candidate Mirhossein Mousavi continue to hold rallies despite an official ban. On Thursday, thousands of Iranians wearing black and carrying candles, marched to mourn those killed in earlier rallies.