Iran's supreme leader on Monday urged Iranians not to vote for pro-Western candidates in the June 12 presidential election, though he gave no clear indication of whether he was supporting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei holds ultimate power in Iran, at the top of the clerical hierarchy above elected figures. His position is crucial for any candidate to win the vote, though he has never made his choice public. While he has strongly praised Ahmadinejad in the past, he has at times rebuked him publicly.
He spoke Monday in a televised speech.
Three others are challenging Ahmadinejad in his bid for re-election. They include a conservative former Revolutionary Guards commander and two reformists.