ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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Khamenei says ‘wealthy US Zionist merchant’ tried to interfere in 2009 elections

Supreme leader thought to be referring to George Soros; warns Iran will ‘slap’ anyone causing unrest in next week’s presidential vote

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addresses a group of teachers in Tehran, Iran, on May 2, 2016. (Official website of the Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP/File)
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addresses a group of teachers in Tehran, Iran, on May 2, 2016. (Official website of the Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP/File)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s supreme leader says anyone trying to foment unrest around the country’s upcoming presidential election, like that which followed the disputed 2009 vote, “will be hit with a slap.”

Iranian state television quoted Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as making the comment Wednesday during a graduation ceremony for cadets in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in Tehran.

Khamenei also referred to a “wealthy American Zionist merchant” trying to interfere in Iran’s 2009 election in his comments, likely referring to liberal billionaire George Soros.

Iranians will go to the polls May 19. Moderate President Hassan Rouhani, whose administration struck the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, is seeking another four-year term.

George Soros speaks at the Festival of Economics in Trento, Italy in 2012. (Wikimedia Commons, Niccolò Caranti, CC BY-SA 3.0)
George Soros speaks at the Festival of Economics in Trento, Italy in 2012. (Wikimedia Commons, Niccolò Caranti, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Iran’s disputed 2009 re-election of former hard-line president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad led to months of unrest and dozens of deaths.

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