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Iran's Guardians Council Begins Partial Recount


YouTube video from Iran, purportedly of a protest outside a Tehran mosque on June 28, although that date is unconfirmed. People are chanting, "Mir Hossein! Ya Hossein!" in support of reformist candidate Mir Hossein Musavi. There were more unconfirmed indications that Musavi was in attendance.

Iran's Guardians Council has begun a partial recount of the country's fiercely disputed presidential vote, state media report.

The move follows more than two weeks of sometimes deadly street clashes as hundreds of thousands of Iranians protested against initial results that showed incumbent conservative Mahmud Ahmadinejad winning in a landslide.

Demonstrations have eased since Iranian security forces intensified their violent campaign to disperse rallies, arrest perceived opponents, and raid demonstrators' homes.

But reports suggested thousands of critics of the vote and supporters of reformist candidate Mir Hossein Musavi turned out for a demonstration outside a mosque in the north of the capital, Tehran, on June 28 that officials had said could go ahead.

Another video of the June 28th protests in Tehran

Video has emerged that purportedly shows Musavi addressing a large group the same day, although the speaker's identity is difficult to confirm and his words difficult to make out.

The recount has been dismissed by critics of the process as a mere gesture, since the Guardians Council has already ruled out any significant change in the result.

Final Announcement

Neither Musavi nor the other reformist candidate for president, Mehdi Karrubi, has nominated any representatives to the panel set up by the council to conduct the recount.

Musavi, whose green-clad supporters have been the most visible at protests, has repeatedly dismissed the June 12 election as a fraud.

Officials' expulsion of foreign journalists and clampdown on domestic media have made it difficult to follow events in Iran for much of the postelection period, but many people have circulated images, sounds, and text messages via mobile phone and the Internet in an effort to inform others of events in their country.

Al-Alam state television reported that recount had begun in 22 Tehran districts, as well as in provinces.

The 12-member body had offered to recount a random 10 percent of the votes.

Al-Alam state television said the recount is expected to be completed later in the day and the result declared any time within 24 hours.

Influential Discontent?

The Guardians Council has already described the poll as the healthiest since the country's 1979-80 revolution, echoing the praise of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who anointed Ahmadinejad the winner within hours of polls closing.

The opposition has demanded a rerun of the election, claiming it was marred by widespread irregularities and fraud.

While the protest numbers have fallen off considerably, the ranks of politicians and clerics criticizing the vote and subsequent crackdown have grown amid scenes of baton-wielding plainclothes security men stamping out public signs of discontent.

Ex-President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani -- who chairs the powerful Expediency Council and the Assembly of Experts -- broke his postelection silence on June 28 to warn of apparent efforts to divide the Iranian public and undermine the system.

He said that "wherever people entered the scene with full alertness such plots were foiled," according to local agencies IRNA and ISNA.

compiled from agency reports

Copyright (c) 2009 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

... Payvand News - 06/29/09 ... --

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