Leader of Iranian Jewish community urges Jews to vote

Rabbi Younis Hammami Lalehzar calls voting in the Iranian presidential election an "obligation" for the Jewish community.

Dan Verbin, Canada ,

Flag of Iran
Flag of Iran

Rabbi Younis Hammami Lalehzar, the religious leader of Jews in Iran, told Iranian Jews they had a national duty to vote in the country’s presidential election.

He made the statement during an interview with state-owned Press TV.

During the interview, he said that the country’s Jewish community were part of Iranian society and urged them to vote for the best candidate.

“We are part of the Iranian society. We have come here to make the best choice. We want to choose the best individual for this position. To participate in the election is a right, it’s an obligation. Every citizen has the right to play his role and have his share in order to make the best choice,” said Lalehzar, who was interviewed at a polling station.

A low turnout is expected in the election, as the country is dealing with widening voter apathy.

In order to encourage participation, Iranian religious and lay leaders have been urging Iranians to go to the polls.

“There’s the ongoing passion about the elections and we will all take part in the election, and by the grace of G-d, we will try to make the best choice,” Lalehzar said.

He added that recent years have been difficult due to a depressed economy from “tyrannical sanctions imposed on the Iranian nation.”

“By following the path of the imam, the people became united and today we have to follow the leader and stay united and make the best choice in order to come up with the best results,” he said.

Asked what the main concerns were of Iranian Jews in terms of electing a new president, Lalehzar said the main issue facing the community was the economic problem plaguing the whole country.

“Jews are also part of the Iranian nation and the main problem today is the economic problem and also the issue of job creation and matters pertaining to the youth,” he said. “So we see that people have massively taken part in the election and we hope the elected person will make utmost efforts beyond groups and factions and take steps in line with the country’s national interests.”

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)