"I vote for me!"
Today's Friday prayer address to the nation by Khamenei just finished. For the full version you can go to bigger places. Here is a short version of highlights, entirely in paraphrase:
He was jubilant that forty million people had voted in the elections, and by their grace the Islamic Republic has found invigorated legitimacy on equal par with the percentages that participated in the first ever referendum in 1979. He also compared the forty million turnout to the 25 million in the 2005 elections.
Our system, he stated, does not allow for cheating. We have created a very healthy and vibrant system, in which it is impossible to cheat. How can eleven million votes be changed? He declared also that the Guardian Council agrees with him.
He emphasized that, therefore, the decisiveness of Ahmadinejad's victory was beyond any doubt. If, he argued, the difference in the results were of some few hundred thousand, or a million, say, there would be cause for concern. But when the difference in the numbers is some eleven million, well ... there is no argument to be had.
He rejoiced in the sound foundations of a religious democracy that Iran had created, one that could be the 'third way', as he formulated it. There are secular democracies, there are secular dictatorships, and we have created the religious democracy. A third way.
He expressed absolute trust in the legal foundation of the nation, which provides the proper channels through which people with disputes can pursue any matters regarding the elections. We are a nation of laws, he said, in which you must follow the laws. No matter who you are.
He declared that the western media, the leaders in some European countries, England be named, and the U.S., in this latest episode of our nation's history, showed their true face. Leaders in America declare that they are pleased to see the people in the streets, and yet they send letters suggesting better relations? Which are we to believe?
The foreign media created a lie. They tried to say that these elections were between the opponents of the system and the supporters of the system. That's a lie. These were elections between different supporters of the system. We have always had differences between us. Some of us have had differences for decades. But we all support the system. These elections were between people who are from this system, of this system and would give their life to this system.
We cannot tolerate anybody taking to the streets every time they lose an election, and want to force their will on the government by occupying the streets, disrupting all life for others. What have they, these ordinary people, done to deserve their streets to be occupied? We cannot therefore allow illegality to pressure us into accepting any unreasonable demands, when there are legal means to pursue if any doubts exist. We will not tolerate illegal activities.
* * *So, Khamenei made it pretty clear that Ahmadinejad was elected, the elections were over, and it's time to get on with other matters. Anybody thinking they can disrupt the business-as-usual will be treated with a hand filled with all the 'legal' tools at the disposal of the state, since, as he emphasized, this kind of taking to the street has been portrayed by the international media as questioning the legitimacy of the state, which nobody can question, especially now, after forty million people participated in the elections.
So, the ball is in the opposition's court now. Let's see how they response; let's hope they are prepared for the next step, and have some plans. The next turn will not be an easy one.