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Iran's Top Electoral Body Refuses to Annul Disputed Election


Iran's Guardian Council has ruled out annulling the disputed June 12 presidential election. Opposition supporters are calling for a general strike.

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.

They witnessed no major fraud or breech and therefore there is no possibility of an annulment taking place.

On Monday, the council had conceded there had been voting irregularities in 50 districts, including local vote counts that exceeded the number of eligible voters.

However, it said they were not enough to affect the overall result and incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had indeed won by a landslide.

Defeated candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, who is now leading the opposition movement, has called the election a fraud and is demanding that a new one be held.

Mr. Mousavi's Facebook Web page says that his supporters are "working on a general strike plan."

Meanwhile, the Iranian Foreign Ministry is denying that Tehran is planning to recall its ambassador to Great Britain.

Parliament speaker Ali Larijani called for a "re-evaluation of ties with Britain," during a speech to parliament, Monday. Iran has accused Britain, France and Germany of instigating violence during recent opposition demonstrations.

In Moscow, the Russian foreign ministry says on its Web site that it backs the results of Iran's presidential election, calling disputes over the results an "internal matter," that should be "settled in strict compliance with Iran's Constitution and law."

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.

Other reports say that opposition supporters continued to chant "Allahu akbar," from rooftops across Tehran, overnight, in a sign that support for the opposition movement is not abating.

Further arrests were reported Monday and amateur videos show demonstrators being shackled and dragged away by heavily armed riot police.

The Iranian news agency IRNA is also quoting Ebrahim Raisi, a top judiciary official, as saying that those arrested amid the recent unrest will be "dealt with in a way that will teach them a lesson."






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