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
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
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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