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Iranian Opposition Leader Mousavi Rejects Vote Recount


Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi has rejected a government proposal to conduct a partial recount of presidential election votes - again insisting that the results be annulled.

In a statement on his Web site, Mr. Mousavi questioned the impartiality and fairness of the proposed panel that would conduct the recount.

Iran's Guardian Council had offered to randomly recount 10 percent of the ballots from the June 12 vote that members of the opposition allege was rigged.

The massive street demonstrations that took place following the disputed election have mostly subsided after hundreds of arrests and a continuing heavy police presence.

Also Saturday, election-winner President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reiterated his criticism of U.S. President Barack Obama and said the United States is interfering in Iran's affairs.

On Friday, President Obama called post-election violence against protesters in Iran "outrageous." He also said any direct dialogue or diplomacy with Iran will be affected by recent events.

Iran's foreign ministry also denounced a statement from the Group of Eight industrialized countries. The group deplored the violence in Iran and urged Iran to respect human rights and free speech. A spokesman for the ministry (Hasan Qashqavi) was quoted by Iran's state-run IRNA news agency as accusing the G8 of intervening, and making "hasty remarks."

The official death toll from violence since the disputed vote is 17, but witnesses say it is much higher.

Iran's crackdown has included heavy restrictions on reporting and the arrest of dozens of university professors, dissidents, journalists and ordinary citizens.

The U.S.-based Human Rights Watch says Iranian paramilitary forces, known as Basijis, have been carrying out nighttime raids on private homes to stop protest chants.

Since the election, many supporters have taken to their rooftops in a nightly ritual to shout "Allahu akbar" -- God is Greatest, a tactic also used during Iran's Islamic Revolution 30 years ago.

A report published Saturday by the pro-government Fars news agency says police in Tehran seized a building that was operating as a campaign center for an unnamed presidential candidate. According to the report, police claim the building was being used as a "command center for psychological warfare against Iran's national security."

On Friday, in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, angry protesters threw stones and rushed the gates of the Iranian embassy. The official IRNA news agency reported Saturday that Iran summoned Swedish Ambassador Magnus Werndstedt in response to what it called a "terrorist attack" that injured an embassy employee.

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