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Iran Accuses EU of 'Rude Interference' for Urging Election Investigation


Iran is accusing the European Union of rudely interfering in its affairs by calling for an investigation of the Islamic state's disputed presidential election.

Iran's Foreign Ministry summoned a senior Czech diplomat in Tehran Tuesday to lodge the protest. The Czech Republic holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.

EU foreign ministers urged Iran Monday to investigate complaints about Friday's vote filed by challengers to re-elected Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

A spokesman for the EU's executive body, the European Commission, expressed serious concern Tuesday about reports of deaths in Iran resulting from post-election violence.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband says Western nations must not take sides in Iran's election dispute between reformists and governing conservatives.

He warned that backing reformists would play into the hands of Iran's conservative rulers who promote the notion of foreign powers conspiring against Iran.

U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday he is "deeply troubled" by Iran's election and violence directed at peaceful protesters. He said the people's voices should not be suppressed. But he also said it would not be productive for the U.S. president to be seen as meddling in Iranian politics.

Republican Senator John McCain called on Mr. Obama Tuesday to take a stronger stand against the Iranian election. McCain said the U.S. president should denounce the election as "corrupt" and a "sham" that has deprived Iranian people of their rights.

McCain was Mr. Obama's main opponent in last year's U.S. presidential election.

In another development, China's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday Beijing respects the choice of the Iranian people in the election and hopes Iran can maintain stability and solidarity.

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

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