Ahmadinejad Defends Vote, Opponents Clash with Police

World | June 14, 2009, Sunday // 18:54|  views

Ahmadinejad Supporters Gather in Teheran, Opponents Clash with Police

Huge crowds of supporters of re-elect Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gathered in Tehran to celebrate his victory, BBC reports Sunday evening.

Ahmadinejad critics insist the vote was fixed and the results triggered violent protest in the capital that are continuing Sunday despite the overnight arrest. Demonstrators set tires and dumpsters on fire and broke many store windows.

Authorities have arrested up to 100 members of reformist groups, accusing them of orchestrating the violence. Those held were said to include Mohammad Reza Khatami, brother of former President Mohammad Khatami.

The President's closest opponent in the election, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, announced on Sunday he had lodged an official appeal against the results to Iran's Guardian Council.

The controversy flared after officially announced results gave Ahmadinejad a landslide victory. His final share of the vote was almost 63%, but many observers in Iran feel that the final result did not reflect the extraordinary numbers of people who turned out to vote - the voter turnout hit 84%.

In the mean time, Ahmadinejad declared Iran's nuclear policy would not change, but he was ready to a "nuclear dispute" with US President, Barack Obama.

The re-elected Iranian President firmly denies any reports of vote manipulation, saying the results were "very accurate". He accused foreign media of refusing to accept the outcome because they did not like it.

"Some believed they would win, and then they got angry. It has no legal credibility. It is like the passions after a football match. It is not important from my point of view," he said.

On his part, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, asked Iranians to respect Ahmadinejad's victory.

US Vice-President Joe Biden told the NBC TV channel there was "an awful lot of doubt" about the result.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States was monitoring the outcome of the election closely and hoped the result reflected the will of the Iranian people.

France Press reports that the son of the last Iran Shah Reza Pahlavi, who lives in exile in the US, appealed to the entire world to support the Iran people scenario of civil unrest as the single way to change the regime.



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


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