Iranian Clerics Protest Election Results
By VOA News
A group of leading Iranian clerics has
criticized the results of the country's disputed presidential election. In a
statement released Sunday, clerics from the Association of Researchers and
Teachers of Qom said Iran's official electoral watchdog, the Guardian Council,
failed to adequately investigate claims of vote rigging by the opposition.
Millions of Iranians have been demanding annulment of the elections
The pro-reform group questioned whether the
Council's validation is enough to legitimize the vote. Last week, the 12-member
Council upheld the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
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Leading Clerics Defy Ayatollah on Disputed Iran Election
The most important group of religious
leaders in Iran called the disputed presidential election and the
new government illegitimate on Saturday, an act of defiance against
the country's supreme leader and the most public sign of a major
split in the country's clerical establishment.
A statement by the group, the
Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qum, represents a
significant, if so far symbolic, setback for the government and
especially the authority of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei, whose word is supposed to be final. The government has
tried to paint the opposition and its top presidential candidate,
Mir Hussein Moussavi, as criminals and traitors, a strategy that now
becomes more difficult - if not impossible. (read
Defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi has criticized the outcome.
In a 24-page report posted to his Web site Saturday, Mr. Mousavi accuses
supporters of Mr. Ahmadinejad of handing out cash to voters in the run-up to the
June 12 vote.
The report also says top officials with the Guardian Council and with the
Interior Ministry, which is charged with counting the votes, were public
supporters of Mr. Ahmadinejad.
Also Saturday, a top Iranian newspaper called for Mr. Mousavi to be tried for
treason. An editorial in the conservative daily Kayhan accused Mr. Mousavi of
inciting post-election riots on orders from the United States.
The editorial by hardline cleric Hossein Shariatmadari, a close aide of Iran's
supreme leader ,also called for Iran's former president and leading reformist,
Mohammad Khatami, to be tried for treason.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP,
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