Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • Europe launches navigation satellites to rival GPS

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Iraqi Sunnis quit govt talks after mosque massacre

    Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • Rights group sues US government over ‘deportation mill’

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Missouri town

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Guardian Council praises 'cleanest' vote

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-26

Iran's electoral watchdog, the Guardian Council, has sternly rejected allegations of fraud in the June 12 presidential election and said the contested vote as the "cleanest" ever in the Islamic Republic's history.

AFP - Iran's electoral watchdog insisted on Friday that this month's disputed presidential vote was the cleanest ever, rejecting opposition allegations of fraud that have brought hundreds of thousands onto the streets.

"After 10 days of examination, we did not see any major irregularities," Guardians Council spokesman Abbasali Kadkhodai told the official IRNA news agency.

"We have had no fraud in any presidential election and this one was the cleanest election we have had. I can say with certainty that there was no fraud in this election."

The council is expected to give its final ruling on Monday after supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gave it an additional five days to investigate complaints filed by the defeated candidates.

Two weeks after the vote, protests in Tehran over hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election have receded after the authorities responded to the worst crisis since the 1979 Islamic revolution with a fierce crackdown that has intensified despite an international outcry.

State-run English-language Press TV said on Thursday that 20 people have been killed in the protests, including eight members of Iran’s Basij militia. Other state media have reported that 17 civilians have been killed.

Foreign ministers of the Group of Eight most industrialised nations were expected to condemn the post-election violence at a meeting in Italy on Friday.

But they were also expected to keep the door open to dialogue after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that isolating Iran was the "wrong approach."

US senators bluntly charged on Thursday that the June 12 election was rigged and vowed to help the opposition defeat curbs on news and the social networking Internet sites it has used to organise demonstrations.

But since an address to the nation last week by the Iranian supreme leader in which he warned that the defeated candidates would be held responsible for any "blood, violence and chaos" on the streets of Tehran, the protests have nearly stopped.

A massive deployment of police armed with batons, along with hundreds of Basij militiamen, has ensured that the few spontaneous demonstrations that have been held have been swiftly dispersed.

On Wednesday, an attempt by a few hundred demonstrators to gather near parliament was quashed by police and militiamen, witnesses told AFP.

The arrest of hundreds of political activists and academics, the blocking of several Internet websites and restrictions on foreign media have further stifled the protest movement.

The authorities have denied the opposition permission to hold any rallies or even mourning ceremonies for demonstrators killed over the past two weeks.

Foreign media have been banned from covering any street protests.

Iran expelled the BBC's Tehran correspondent on Sunday, accusing him of "supporting the rioters," and has also arrested a British-Greek and an Iranian-Canadian journalist working for US publications.

Despite the restrictions, images of police brutality have still spread worldwide via amateur video over the Internet. One clip in particular of the fatal shooting of young woman demonstrator Neda Agah-Soltan has come to symbolise the regime's iron-fisted response to the protests.

Arash Hejazi, a doctor who tried to save her, told the BBC the shooter was identified by the crowd as a Basij militiaman.

Hejazi, who was near Neda at that time of her death earlier this week, said: "We heard a gunshot. And Neda was standing one metre (yard) away from me ... We were just standing and all of a sudden I turned back and I saw blood gushing out of Neda's chest," adding she died in "less than a minute."

The main opposition leader, former premier Mir Hossein Mousavi, who has described the election as a "shameful fraud," vowed on Thursday to continue his campaign for a re-run despite the pressure he is facing from the authorities.

"My access to people is completely restricted," he said, but he added: "I won't refrain from securing the rights of the Iranian people... because of personal interests and the fear of threats."

Although the street protests have died down, Iran's rulers are still facing a major crisis, with cracks emerging within the regime itself.

Dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri -- once the designated successor to revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini -- warned Iran's rulers on Thursday that their suppression of opposition protests could threaten the very foundations of the Islamic republic.

Conservative parliament speaker Ali Larijani and more than 100 MPs meanwhile boycotted a victory dinner hosted by Ahmadinejad, press reports said.
 

Date created : 2009-06-26

COMMENT(S)