10 killed in Iran unrest

June 21st, 2009 - 6:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Gordon Brown Tehran, June 21 (DPA) While Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continued to ignore the protests against the outcome of the June 12 presidential elections, state television reported Sunday that at least 10 people were killed in Saturday’s clashes.
The news network Khabar quoted the police as saying that at least 10 were killed and several injured in the unrests. Earlier state television reports had spoken of 13 dead.

Khabar also claimed that the police did not use live ammunition against the protesters, but that some of the rioters did. The report further said that rioters caused heavy damage to public properties.

Khabar meanwhile denied an earlier report that several people were killed after an attack by rioters and terrorists on a mosque in central Tehran.

The network also broadcast interviews with what the state-run TV purported to be some of the rioters, saying that they were drug traffickers and counter-revolutionary elements.

In the meantime, Ahmadinejad Sunday ignored the protests against his re-election and once again termed the high turnout in the June 12 vote as an undeniable victory for Iran.

He said it proved once again that 40 million Iranians would still love the Islamic system.

Ahmadinejad added that he and his government were determined to take the country on the road to progress.

The president blamed the Western countries’ stance on the presidential election and mentioned British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and US President Barack Obama by name.

“Definitely such an approach (doubting election legitimacy) would not put them into the friendship circle of the Iran nation and they should seriously revise their stance,” Ahmadinejad said.

His mention of Obama follows on the US president’s remarks Saturday urging the Tehran government to halt violent repression of protests and saying that the US supported demonstrators who were exercising their universal rights to free expression.

“The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching,” Obama said. “We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people.”

Meanwhile there were signs that amid the controversy, Tehran might be embarking on a confrontational course with the West, as seen in sharp remarks by its foreign minister to diplomats.

Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki, in a meeting with diplomats, said France was a great nation, but now being governed by “midgets”, while also saying that the policies of Germany, Britain and the US in the region were wrong.

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