Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei urges Islamic scholars to thwart “the American and Zionist plot to create divisions” and avoid touching on divisive issues among Shiite and Sunni Muslims. “The enemies of Islam are trying to turn these differences into a religious strife so that they don’t end easily. We must not contribute to this dangerous goal,” Ayatollah Khamenei told members of the Assembly of Experts in Tehran on Thursday. Ayatollah Khamenei noted that the ongoing wars in the Middle East are “totally rooted in political motivations.” The Leader warned against enemy plots to infiltrate the country, saying Iranian officials as well as people are the main targets of such a plot. He described targeting officials and the people as two main objectives of enemies and said that enemies sought to change calculation of authorities in country so that enemies can control their minds and wills; “in that case no direct involvement of enemies would be needed and officials, without knowing themselves, will decide the way enemies like.” "Islamic Republic had no intention of hostility towards west; in this country an independent structure was formed and it was the west who first showed enmity toward us. We have suffered damages from west and should not forget what west did to us. I do not favor cutting ties with west, but we must know who we are dealing with,” stressed Ayatollah Khamenei and added that “we must have relations with whole world except the United States and the Zionist regime; we must know that world is not only west and Europe. Today, powers are spread in the world and east of world and Asia is a vast region. He also reasserted that the way for confronting infiltration was internal strengthening of the country; “if the Islamic Iran is strong and rich domestically, those who are trying to bully Iran and are against us, will queue for making relations with the Islamic System.” Ayatollah Khamenei said he does not approve of severing ties with the West but called on Iranian officials to remain vigilant in their interactions as Iran has been already hurt by the policies of Western countries. “We have been harmed by the West and we should not forget what the West has done to us. I am not in favor of cutting ties with the West, but we should know with whom we are interacting.” “We should have relations with the entire world except the US and the Zionist regime (Israel) but we should know that the world is not limited exclusively to the West and Europe,” the Leader added. During the meeting the Leader of the Islamic Revolution hailed Iranians for the recent massive turnout in elections and dubbed it as illustration of nation’s trust in the Islamic System; “in recent election, people displayed and proved in action their trust to the Islamic System. The elections for Parliament and Assembly of Experts were very meaningful; participation of 62% of eligible voters is a high turnout compared with many countries, even the United States.” Ayatollah Khamenei deemed it natural in any elections that some would win and some would fail, and appreciating the endeavors of those members of the Assembly who have not achieved being elected to next round, added that “there are some figures whose characteristics would not be affected by being elected or not; Ayatollah Yazdi and Mesbah are as such and their presence in the Assembly of Experts gave more momentum and weight to this body and their absence in next round is a loss.” The Leader also touched upon features of elections in the Islamic System and asserted that “’Popular freedom of action’ is among elections features in the Islamic System; voting is not mandatory and people participate in elections with motivation, willfully and with thought.” “Another feature is competitiveness; many attempts were made to say election in Iran is not competitive, while it was; different wings participated with various slogans and voiced their views. IRIB also was at the service of candidates for the Assembly of Experts. ‘Security and peaceful atmosphere of elections’ was also next feature of the elections according to the Leader of Revolution. “While in countries around us people suffer from insecurity and terrorist attacks, Iran’s elections were held in full security and without any bitter incident. Ayatollah Khamenei expressed gratitude towards security and intelligence forces, Interior Ministry, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, IRGC, and Basij Volunteer forces for securing elections process. He said contrary to what the enemies and some inside the country propagated, elections in the Islamic System have always been free and fair and without any fraud or rigging affecting the results.” “February 26 elections once again proved falsehood of those who tried to discredit 2009 election and brought about that harmful sedition in the country,” emphasized Ayatollah Khamenei. “The same way this round of elections was healthful, elections in 2009 and 2005 were also healthful.” “Unlike indecent behavior of those who failed to win 2009 elections and by causing sedition prepared the grounds for enemy to covet, those not elected in this year elections felicitated the winners, and this is great and valuable.”