As Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hailed election results that show him winning by more than 62%, supporters of his opponent Mir Hossein Moussavi flooded the streets and clashed with riot police in Tehran June 13, saying the vote was rigged. Protesters in Tehran’s Moseni Square smashed store fronts and started fires. Moussavi and his supporters said before the votes were counted that the process was tainted, and urged a halt to the counting because of what he called “blatant violations.”
“The results announced for the 10th presidential elections are astonishing,” Moussavi said in a statement. “People who stood in long lines and knew well who they voted for were utterly surprised by the magicians working at the television and radio broadcasting.”
The amount of votes Ahmadinejad received is making observers worldwide suspicious of the outcome. Ahmadinejad is popular in rural areas, but Moussavi was expected to do well, if not win. But Ahmadinejad has the backing of the country’s powerful religious leader, Ayatollah Khameni and his mullahs, who oppose Moussavi and his reform-minded views. Iran’s Interior Minister Seyed Sadeq Mahsouli said 85% of the county’s 46 million eligible voters turned out to vote Friday June 12. (AHN, June 13)
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