Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused foreign media of trying to use coronavirus outbreak in the Shiite country to discourage people from voting in the upcoming presidential elections, international media reported. This ''negative propaganda'' began a few months ago and grew larger approaching the election and in the past two days, under the pretext of an illness and a virus, their media did not miss the slightest opportunity to discourage people from voting, Khamenei said on his official website on February 23.
Iran held its parliamentary elections on February 21 which also witnessed the participation of political leaders including Khamenei. He also tweeted photographs of himself to encourage people's participation in the elections.
The Islamic nation started counting votes in its parliamentary election on February 22 and according to reports, the hardliner allies of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s Revolutionary Guards are expected to gain a sizeable majority. According to media reports, an official from the ministry confirmed that the conservatives affiliated with Guards secured 83 out of 290 seats across 31 provinces following Friday’s parliamentary elections. The substantial victory of the hardliners indicates the collapse of the pragmatist political entities as loyalists to Khamenei proved to be the front runners.
Iranian officials have yet to announce the total turnout, however, they revealed the names of the leading candidates in Tehran’s 30 parliamentary seats, international media reported The results have corroborated the widening influence of the Guards across the country amid mounting pressures from the west over Nuclear deal and trade embargo from the US.
Meanwhile, authorities in Iran on February 22 reported a sixth death from coronavirus that emerged in China. The governor of Markazi province told an international news agency that tests of a patient who recently died in the central city of Arak was positive for the virus.