"This was a response to many of your enemies' remarks expressed in their biased propaganda. If the people have no hope for the future they would not take part in elections. If they do not trust their own system they would not take part in elections. If they do not feel free, they would not welcome the elections. Trust in the Islamic Republic became evident in these elections. I will tell you later that the enemies have targeted this very trust. The enemies of the Iranian nation intend to undermine this trust. This trust is the biggest asset of the Islamic Republic and they want to take it away. They want to create doubt about elections. They want to cast doubt on the trust of the people.
"The enemies of the Iranian nation know that when trust is gone, participation will weaken. When participation and presence on the scene is weakened, the legitimacy of the system will be questioned. This is what they want. They want to undermine trust to weaken participation to deprive the Islamic Republic of legitimacy. The harm inflicted by this is far worse than setting fire to buses and banks. This cannot be compared with any other loss. The enemy wants to see the people come forward in such a move and participate so enthusiastically in elections and then get told that they have made a mistake in trusting the system, the system is not trustworthy. This is what the enemy wants."
Later in the sermon, he chided all the candidates, trying to appear above them as a wise spiritual leader, while extending a welcome to Rafsanjani and Nateq-Nouri (at least the former of whom was absent) as part of the family of the Islamic Republic. You could almost say he was trying to be Barack Obama, calling for unity even while sticking firmly to his own agenda.
On the immediate demands of the protesters, he gave nothing, standing by his earlier insistence that Ahmadinejad won the race fair and square. He also, however, made a point to the leading figures on the other side: Do they want to bring down the republic, and perhaps cause the chaos of another revolution? If and when a crackdown comes, it will be framed thusly - as a defense of the system against outsiders.
Finally, what was with the Branch Davidian reference? Is that the best he can do in criticizing "Democrat" governance?
(Crossposted to American Footprints)