Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has thanked the Iranian nation for its massive participation in the country’s recent twin elections. On Sunday, the Leader expressed gratitude for the “aware and determined” nation, whose turnout at the polls displayed “the brilliant face of religious democracy to the world.” “I consider it my responsibility to express my gratitude to this public acknowledgement of the call made by the [country’s] Islamic establishment,” Ayatollah Khamenei noted. Among other things, the Leader also urged the electees to adopt “austerity, honesty, constant attendance to the position of responsibility, preference for national interests over personal and factional demands, and chivalrous resistance against foreign meddling.” “The very sensitive times of the present call for the vigilance, awareness, and conviction of everyone, especially you the authorities.” Ayatollah Khamenei said. “The country’s advancement is the essential goal,” the Leader said, asserting, however, that “superficial advancement, which forgos independence and national esteem is not acceptable.” On Friday, Iran simultaneously held parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections. At least 33 million out of the 55 million eligible voters, or 60 percent, took part in the polls. As many as 4,844 candidates, including about 500 women, were competing for a place in the 290-seat parliament. A total of 159 candidates ran for the 88-member Assembly of Experts, which is constitutionally tasked with selecting a leader when the need arises.