Protests continue in Iran as election result to be investigated

June 15th, 2009 - 7:26 pm ICT by John Le Fevre  

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad For the third consecutive day protesters have taken to the streets of Iran and clashed with police to show their anger at last weeks election result which saw hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad returned for a second term.

At the same time the country’s government-funded Press TV reported that Iran’s Guardian Council — a body of top clerics and judges — will investigate reformist opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi’s claims.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has given his blessing to the outcome of the election, assured Moussavi of the Council’s investigation in a meeting Sunday, Press TV said.

Opposition groups launched protests after Ahmadinejad’s claim he had won 62 percent of the vote, despite predictions the election would be closely fought amid growing disquiet over the president’s economic and foreign policies.

Hundreds of Moussavi supporters on Monday defied a government ban on their rallies, gathering for a demonstration at Tehran University. The government had earlier in the day rejected a request by Moussavi to hold a nationwide march.

One witness told CNN, “they are shouting slogans ‘Death to the dictator’”.

The France-based media rights group Reporters Without Borders said it had confirmed the arrest of four reporters by Iranian authorities, including one who won the organization’s press freedom prize in 2001.

In addition, it said, it had no information about 10 other reporters who had either gone into hiding or had been arrested.

Even before polling stations had closed on Saturday both Ahmadinejad and Mousav, were claiming victory.

Mousavi, who served as prime minister in the 1980s, has become the surprise hero of a powerful youth-driven movement and had been counting on under-30s, who account for about a third of Iran’s eligible voters to wrest power away from Mr. Ahmadinejad.

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