Yahya Rahim Safavi, former chief commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps talking to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, (File Photo)

People Should Pick Candidate Who Sees Himself as 2nd to Khamenei - Aide

Friday, 06/14/2024

General Yahya Rahim Safavi, Iran’s Supreme Leader's top military advisor, reiterated for the second time in less than a week that the upcoming president must closely follow Ali Khamenei's guidance.

In his remarks on Thursday, he advised people to select a candidate who “considers himself the second person of the country, not the first.”

“The upcoming elections will shape our nation's future, so stay vigilant in selecting leaders committed to unity rather than division. Look for candidates who prioritize serving the nation over personal ambition, capable of effectively managing the country and addressing people's needs,” Safavi said.

He had expressed similar sentiments on Wednesday.

"The president should align with the Supreme Leader’s views, acknowledging himself as second in command,” he said, stressing that “it creates issues if the head of the executive branch doesn't adhere to this hierarchy.”

Following the death of President Ebrahim Raisi and his delegation in a helicopter crash last month, there will be a snap election held on June 28.

Safavi's comments reflect Iran's leaders' efforts to centralize power around a unified ideology, particularly amidst growing internal unrest and external pressures. With his background as the former head of the Revolutionary Guards, his words carry significant influence, underscoring the military's pivotal role in shaping and safeguarding Iran's political sphere.

It's uncertain whom Safavi refers to, but the six candidates chosen by the Guardian Council are notably similar, with all but one having an ultraconservative background.

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