Ahmadinejad Triumphs in Iran Presidential Elections

World | June 13, 2009, Saturday // 15:29|  views

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei , congratulated Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (above) on his win, and urged his rivals against "provocations". Photo by huffingtonpost.com

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been re-elected as president of Iran in a resounding victory, the interior minister says.

He won some 62.6% of the vote in an election marked by a turnout of more than 80%, official figures show.

Reformist Mir Hossein Mousavi has also claimed victory, calling the result a "dangerous charade", as backers vowed to appeal for a re-run.

But Iran's Supreme Leader congratulated Ahmadinejad on his win, and urged his rivals against "provocations".

In a statement, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised the high turnout and described the count as a huge success and called for calm in the aftermath of the result.

"Other honourable candidates must refrain from any kind of provocative and distrustful words or deeds," the ayatollah said.

On the streets of Tehran, police have sealed off Mousavi's campaign HQ, preventing his supporters from holding a news conference.

Mousavi was hoping to prevent Ahmadinejad winning more than 50% of the vote, in order to force a run-off election.

However, Interior Minister Sadeq Mahsouli said his share of the vote was just under 34%.

Hours earlier, the state news agency Irna declared Ahmadinejad the "definite winner", and his campaign manager was quoted as saying "any doubts cast on this victory will be treated as a joke by the public".


Tags: Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iranian elections


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