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Iran to Recount Some Votes in Disputed Election


Iran's powerful Guardian Council says it will recount some votes in a disputed presidential election that has triggered the country's largest street protests in 30 years.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had asked the council of Islamic clerics and jurists to investigate complaints of voter fraud filed by challengers to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Official results gave the conservative incumbent a landslide victory.

Thousands of supporters of Mr. Ahmadinejad rallied in central Tehran's Vali Asr Square Tuesday as the president attended a regional summit in Russia. Mr. Ahmadinejad's supporters and opponents have held a series of mass rallies in the Iranian capital in recent days.

Defeated reformist presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi drew hundreds of thousands of followers to a rally in central Tehran Monday. He urged them not to hold another mass protest in the area Tuesday to avoid conflict with government supporters.

Iranian state media say seven people were killed Monday when some of Mr. Mousavi's followers attacked a Tehran office of the Basij, a pro-government militia. Witnesses say the militiamen opened fire on the protesters.

Iran's government said Tuesday it is banning all journalists with foreign news agencies from leaving their offices to cover demonstrations. It also canceled the accreditation of all foreign media.

The order means news organizations such as Reuters and the Associated Press will not be able to provide independent photos or video of street rallies and protests.

Iran's Guardian Council said Tuesday it will order a recount of votes in some sites where the defeated candidates claim irregularities. It is not clear how many ballots will be recounted or where.

Mr. Mousavi has asked the council to cancel the election results. Mr. Ahmadinejad says the vote was free and fair.

In another development, Iran's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani criticized a recent attack on students at Tehran University, a hub of opposition to Iran's president.

Students say Iranian police and Islamic militiamen stormed a dormitory late Sunday, beating residents and damaging property. Larijani held Iran's Interior Ministry responsible for the incident.

Iran's government has said Mr. Ahmadinejad won re-election Friday with 63 percent of the vote, compared to 34 percent for Mr. Mousavi, his main rival.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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