Iran Will Not Annul Election Results

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad President of IranTehran, Iran (RPRN) 6/23/3009–Iranian media reported Tuesday that the nation’s powerful Guardian Council has said it will not annul the results of the nation’s disputed presidential election, saying there were no major polling irregularities. The council’s spokesman, Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, said late Monday that most complaints centered around irregularities before the election, and not during or after the vote.

Plans to publish vote count

Separately, the deputy head of the Interior Ministry’s election headquarters, Ali-Asghar Sharifi-Rad, said the ministry is going to publish the results of a box-by-box vote count in an attempt to resolve ambiguities about the June 12 poll.

In comments published Monday on Iran’s Press TV Web site, the official said details of the vote count are usually kept confidential.

These developments follow claims of vote rigging and the Guardian Council’s announcement Sunday that the total number of votes in 50 cities surpassed the number of people eligible to cast ballots there. More than three million votes could be in question.

Police crack down on protesters

On the streets of central Tehran Monday, witnesses to a demonstration said Iranian police used tear gas to disperse the hundreds of opposition protesters rallying at Haft-e-Tir Square.

The country’s country’s elite Revolutionary Guard has warned it would use force to crush demonstrations about Iran’s disputed election.

Earlier, Iranian state media reported that 10 people were killed and at least 100 injured in fierce clashes Saturday between security forces and demonstrators in Tehran. The reports also said at least 457 people were arrested. The demonstrators had defied a warning Friday from Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, not to stage protests.

The official death toll from Iran’s post-election violence is now at 17. Other reports say the toll is considerably higher. None of the reports has been confirmed, and Iran has barred independent media from reporting in the country.

Mousavi supports more protests

Defeated candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi has issued a statement supporting further protests against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s June 12 victory, but he urged restraint.

At the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged an immediate end to the use of force against civilians in Iran. He also called on the government and the opposition to peacefully resolve their differences through dialogue and legal means.

The disputed vote has triggered Iran’s greatest unrest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.