Iran's supreme leader is urging Iranians not to vote in next month's presidential election for candidates who could adopt a pro-Western stand.
In a televised speech Monday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said candidates who submit to what he called Iran's "enemies" bring shame to the nation and should not be elected.
Speaking in Kordestan province, the supreme leader said it would be a disaster for the nation if Iranians elect a candidate who flatters Western countries to secure a position in the international arena.
The supreme leader did not say who he is supporting in the June 12 election.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is competing for a second, four-year term in the poll. During his first term, he has taken a confrontational stance toward the United States and other Western powers.
Another presidential hopeful, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, launched a daily newspaper Monday focusing mainly on politics.
The first issue of "Kalameh Sabz," or "Green Word," carried pictures of Mr. Mousavi, as well as his supporter, former President Mohammad Khatami.
Mr. Mousavi is a former prime minister backed by reformist groups. He is considered one of Mr. Ahmadinejad's main challengers.
Other candidates are former parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi, considered a reformist, and former head of the Revolutionary Guards Mohsen Rezai.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.