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Partial recount begins following disputed election


Latest update : 2009-06-29

Iran's Guardian Council has begun a partial recount of 10% of ballots cast in the disputed June 12 presidential vote, whose outcome spurred weeks of violent protests across the country.

AFP - Iran's top election body the Guardians Council began on Monday a partial recount of ballots cast in the hotly-disputed presidential vote, state-owned Al-Alam television said.

"The Guardians Council has started a partial recount of 10 percent of the ballot boxes," the Arabic-language television station said.

The opposition has demanded a rerun of the vote, claiming the June 12 election that returned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power was marred by widespread irregularities and fraud.

Al-Alam said two of the defeated candidates, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, did not nominate any representatives to the panel set up by the 12-member council to conduct the recount.

It said the recount is expected to be completed by Monday afternoon and the result will be declared within 24 hours.

Iran has repeatedly accused Britain and the United States of stoking the unrest that swept the country after the June 12 election, which returned hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power.

Opposition campaigners say the vote was rigged.

Miliband could not provide details about the arrests -- which he said had numbered nine -- but said he was in contact with the Iranian foreign ministry and urged them to work on the release of the diplomats.

"As of this morning I know that four have been released, I am still waiting for further confirmation of whether any more have been released in the last two hours," he said.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt underlined that the ministers from the 27-nation bloc had not discussed any possible sanctions in their informal talks here, and would not be drawn on what response the EU might have.

"We need to take the situation day by day and assess it. This is a dynamic and ongoing situation. I don't think you should tie yourself to a mast particularly," he said.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini reiterated a call for visas from the 25-nation Schengen no borders area to be issued to Iranian opposition figures who might need them, but no decisions were taken.

Date created : 2009-06-29