June 14, 2009 19:04
Members of Iranian reformist groups say Tehran detained at least 10 reformists before dawn Sunday, hours after Iranian officials declared President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected in a landslide victory.
Angry Iranian voters clashed with police on the streets of the capital, Tehran, Saturday after Iran's interior minister, Sadeq Mahsouli, said Ahmadinejad had won 62.6% of the vote. He said the president's top rival, reformist Mir Hossein Mousavi, only won 33.75% of the vote. Thousands of Mousavi's supporters burned tires and threw stones in Tehran's worst violence since student riots a decade ago.
◆ Protesters Clash with Police
Protesters shouted "down with the dictator," denouncing what they called a stolen election and alleging that their votes for Mousavi were not counted. Police retaliated by firing tear gas and beating protesters with batons. Riot police on motorcycles moved in to break up the demonstrations. Late Saturday, Mousavi's campaign issued a call for
The reformist challenger alleged the poll was marred by serious voting irregularities, and he called the vote a "charade." Ahmadinejad described the poll as a "completely free election."
◆ Supreme Leader Welcomes Election Results
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, welcomed the results. He said the high voter turnout, at more than 80%, and the 24 million votes cast for Ahmadinejad are a "real celebration." On Saturday, videos of the demonstrations poured in to social media networks, with images of fires burning in the streets and protesters chanting slogans. Ahmadinejad's rivals have accused him of badly mismanaging the economy and tarnishing Iran's image, further isolating the country from the West.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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