Hardline incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was heading for a landslide
victory in Iran's presidential election, while his main moderate
challenger denounced the results as "treason" and "dangerous
Preliminary results on Saturday showed President
Ahmadinejad receiving nearly double the votes of reformist rival Mir
Hossein Mousavi. The results give the incumbent 63 percent to about 34
percent for Mr. Mousavi, a former Iranian prime minister.
Mousavi issued a statement saying he "strongly protested" what he
described as many violations in Friday's vote. He vowed not to
surrender to the "charade."
Security was tight throughout Tehran
Saturday as people waited for final results to be announced.
Supporters of Mr. Mousavi briefly clashed with police in a Tehran
The initial results surprised many analysts who
predicted a tight race between the incumbent president and Mr. Mousavi,
with voters turning out to the polls in massive numbers Friday.
commission chief Kamran Daneshjou said turnout was "unprecedented."
Officials predicted a turnout of 70 percent or more of Iran's 46
million eligible voters. Officials extended voting hours to
accommodate long lines at polling stations.
Mehdi Karroubi and conservative former Revolutionary Guards commander
Mohsen Rezaei also competed in the poll, in which Iran's economy,
nuclear program and foreign relations were said to play a key role.
Ahmadinejad's rivals have accused him of badly mismanaging the economy
and tarnishing Iran's image, further isolating the country from the
West. The Iranian president has denied the Holocaust and called for
Israel to be wiped off the map.
Saturday, Israel's Deputy
Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said the election results depicting Mr.
Ahmadinejad's victory demonstrate that the "Iranian threat" has grown.
Ayalon also said the international community must stop the nuclear
program and terrorism coming from Iran.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.