TEHRAN – Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani says an inclusive and enthusiastic popular turnout in this Friday’s parliamentary elections will enrage the United States, stressing the significant role of the legislative chamber in moving forward government efforts to thwart Washington’s sanctions.
Iran can triumph over the US pressure campaign through perseverance and strength, Rouhani told a cabinet session in Tehran on Wednesday.
People forming long queues at polling stations is what will upset and enrage the US, the president said, adding that Washington will be delighted to see a low voter turnout.
Iran is to hold the elections on February 21 to appoint lawmakers to its 11th Majlis (Parliament) since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
More than 7,000 candidates are to vie in the polls for 290 seats, five of them representing religious minorities.
Rouhani called Majlis a significant apparatus as it would pass laws that could last for decades, thus affecting the country’s future.
This year’s elections bear added significance in light of the fact that Iran has come under intense sanctions and pressure by the world’s arrogant powers, the president stated, adding that a high voter turnout can reflect the popular stance towards these powers.
Rouhani called the sanctions “a terrorist American action” against the Iranian people, and added that the current American officials have been emboldened in their attempts to pressure Iran by the support of the Israeli regime and the region’s reactionary states.
Rouhani gave assurances that the unfair sanctions can be broken as has been proven in the past.
A high electoral turnout, Rouhani noted, would mandate the parliament to join forces with the government and the judiciary in efforts to defeat the US bans and resolve domestic problems.
“We should all stand alongside one another… We should resolve the problems together,” he added. “That day when the US despairs, its maximum pressure will have no effect. It will surrender, come to the negotiation table, and accept the word of truth.”
“Maximum pressure” is the term US President Donald Trump has assigned to a campaign of escalated animosity towards the Islamic Republic.
As part of the drive, Trump withdrew the US from a historic nuclear accord with Iran and others in 2018. The departure was followed by the restoration of draconian sanctions targeting diverse economic sectors.