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Council won't annul Iran election results

June 23, 2009 at 7:07 AM   |   Comments

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TEHRAN, June 23 (UPI) -- Iran's Guardian Council ruled out nullifying results of the disputed election, saying irregularities were reported before the balloting, not during or after.

A spokesman for the council -- which oversees Iran's elections -- said any irregularities reported before balloting were beyond the scope of the panel, CNN reported.

"If a major breach occurs in an election, the Guardian Council may annul the votes that come out of a particular affected ballot box, polling station, district or city," council spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei was quoted as saying Monday by Iran's government-funded Press TV. "Fortunately, in the recent presidential election we found no witness of major fraud or breach in the election. Therefore, there is no possibility of an annulment taking place."

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the landslide winner over his nearest challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi. The results and claims of other irregularities during the voting process sparked daily demonstrations in Tehran and other Iranian cities. Saturday's protests turned deadly -- Iranian news sources reporting 13 people died Saturday while hospital sources put the toll at 19.

Mousavi and several other challengers want the results annulled and a new election held.

Up to 1,000 demonstrators at Haft-e-tir Square in Tehran were overwhelmed Monday by baton-carrying riot police and tear gas shortly after the Revolutionary Guards issued a warning on its Web site saying protesters would face "revolutionary confrontation," The New York Times reported.

Opposition leaders said the next move may be civil disobedience or a general strike.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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