Iran Council orders election recount

June 16th, 2009 - 4:09 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama Tehran (Iran), June 16 (ANI): Iran’s Council of Guardians has said it is ready to recount votes from last week’s disputed election in the wake of clashes and mass protests which have led to the deaths of at least seven people. In a statement released through state media the council, a powerful committee of 12 clerics, said the move may lead to changes in candidates’ tally.

According to The Telegraph, the council has been asked to formally cancel the result by defeated presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who has vowed not to give up the struggle to be the head of state despite President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad being declared the winner with 63 per cent of the vote at the weekend.

The result has triggered three days on unrest in Tehran and elsewhere in the country.

The announcement came after violent clashes in the capital following a mass rally over alleged election fraud.

Reports on state radio said the seven people who were killed west of the capital “tried to attack a military location” on Monday evening.

More than 100,000 opponents of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had earlier marched through Tehran protesting at alleged vote rigging in last week’s elections. The outpouring on to the streets was the greatest display of popular feeling since the Islamic revolution in 1979.

To cries of “death to the dictator”, Iranians had protested against President Ahmadinejad’s proclaimed re-election.

US President Barack Obama said the world was “inspired” by the Iranian demonstrators and that he was “deeply troubled” by post-election violence.

“The democratic process, free speech, the ability of people to peacefully dissent - all those are universal values and need to be respected,” he said.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, will have the final say in the dispute. When the election results were first announced, he hailed them as a “divine” verdict.

Yesterday, however, he appeared to soften this stance and said a committee of 12 clerics would investigate the claims of vote rigging.

However, this body is dominated by hardliners and Mousavi’s supporters have little confidence in its desire to reach an impartial verdict. (ANI)

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