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Monday, June 29, 2009

Iran's Guardian Council confirms vote results

Mon, 29 Jun 2009 | PressTV

After the conclusion of the partial vote recount, Iran's electoral watchdog, the Guardian Council has confirmed the result of the June 12 poll.

After the announcement of the result of Iran's presidential election, which saw President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad re-elected to a second four-year term, provoked major protests in the country, the Guardian Council set up a special committee to do a partial vote recount.

Iran's top legislative body confirmed that the recount of 10 percent of the ballot boxes carried out on Monday had shown no irregularities in the vote.

In a letter to Interior Minister Sadeq Mahsouli on Monday, head of the Guardian Council Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati (photo), confirmed the result of the polls, state television reported.

"The Guardian Council after studying the issues [surrounding the Iranian election] in numerous sessions, dismisses all the complaints received, and approves the accuracy of the tenth presidential election," read the letter to the Interior Ministry.

The recount came after defeated candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi rejected the result of the election as fraudulent and called for a re-run.

The Guardian Council approval of the vote negates the possibility of an election re-run.

Mousavi, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's main rival, had earlier rejected the offer of partial recount and refused to appoint a representative to the special committee.

Karroubi also refused to send a representative to the commission over what he described as the "lack of impartiality" among the committee's members, some of whom have publicly supported President Ahmadinejad.

The third candidate, Mohsen Rezaei, did not send a representative to the commission either.

'US forces attempt to hijack Iranian oil field'

Mon, 29 Jun 2009 | PressTV

American forces have attempted to take over an Iranian oil field near the country's western border with Iraq, a security official says.

“US forces backed by tanks entered the Mousian area of the Dehloran County, laying around 100 meters of pipeline in Iranian territory," the source, talking on condition of anonymity, said Monday.

The source added that the pipes, marked with Iraqi flags, were blocked after Iranian forces pushed the “intruders” back across the border.

Iraqi officials have been notified of Iran's objection to American movements along the common border, according to the source.

Thousands of Pakistanis hold anti-US rally

Mon, 29 Jun 2009 | PressTV


Thousands of Pakistanis hold rallies against US in port city of Karachi



Thousands of Pakistanis march in the southern port city of Karachi to denounce the 'unwelcome' influence of the US in the nuclear-armed country.


About 10,000 participants, holding party flags, banners and placards, chanted anti US slogans and demanded the government to condemn Washington's policies on Sunday.

Members of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), a religious political party, also burnt American flags and chanted anti-US slogans.

The protesters also accused US president Barack Obama of pursuing the same policies of his predecessor in the volatile region.

The demonstrators chanted slogans like "Leave America, Leave!" and "Down with the US," while holding banners which read "No to American Slavery," a Press TV correspondent reported.

Addressing the rally, JI chief Munawar Hassan held US responsible for political and economic instabilities in Pakistan.

While condemning the US drone attacks in the Pakistani tribal region, protesters held President Obama responsible for the killing of what they believe are "innocent people".

Washington says the drone attacks are aimed at suspected militants, but Pakistani media say only one-sixth of US missiles actually hit militant hideouts.

Hundreds of Pakistani civilians have lost their lives in such attacks, which started under the Bush administration. Islamabad has repeatedly condemned the US raids, demanding an immediate end to the imprecise drone attacks.

The demonstration comes as the Pakistani military is preparing to mount an all-out assault on pro-Taliban militants in the South Waziristan tribal region along the Afghan border.

At least Thirteen Pakistani troops and 18 Taliban insurgents were killed in clashes in the volatile region over some past 24 hours.

Iraqi Oil for sale

29 June 2009 - How will opening up Iraq's oil industry to foreign companies impact the country?



Probe into Neda's 'suspicious' death!

Mon, 29 Jun 2009 | PressTV

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (photo) has asked the Judiciary chief to conduct a through investigation into the death of Neda Aqa-Soltan, an Iranian woman who was shot dead in Tehran's post-vote protests.

In a letter to Iran's Judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi on Monday, Ahmadinejad called for a serious probe into the "suspicious" death of Neda and recognizing elements behind her killing.

"Neda Aqa-Soltan was shot dead in one of Tehran's streets on June 20 by unknown elements in a completely suspicious way," said the president.

"Amid vast propaganda by foreign media and many other evidence about the heartfelt event, it seems definite that opponents of the Iranian nation interfere (in Iran's internal affairs) for their political misuse," he added.

Neda, 26, became a symbol of post-election street rallies in Iran and an international icon in recent days after graphic videos of her death grabbed the attention of world media outlets.

Her death first became suspicious after revelations that she was killed by a small caliber pistol -- a weapon that is not used by Iranian security forces.


Police, Basij 'imposters' arrested in Iran.

Mon, 29 Jun 2009 | PressTV

Iranian police officials have reportedly arrested the armed imposters who posed as security forces during post-election violence in the country.

Iran's Basij commander, Hossein Taeb, said Monday that the imposters had worn police and Basij uniforms to infiltrate the rallies and create havoc.

Taeb added that the recent anti-government riots have killed eight members of the Basij and wounded 300 others.

Iranian security officials --and in particularly the Basij volunteer forces-- have been accused of killing and injuring protestors who took to the streets to protest the outcome of the June 12 election -- which saw incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad win by a landslide.

“Basij forces are not authorized to carry weapons,” said Taeb, asserting that armed groups are the main culprit behind the killings.

Tehran Police Chief Azizallah Rajabzadeh has also insisted that his department had no role in the shoot-out that has become the focus of most media outlets in the West.

“Policemen are not authorized to use weapons against people,” said Rajabzadeh. “They are trained to only use anti-riot tools to keep the people out of harms way,” said Rajabzadeh.

Last week saw some of the worst violence since the election after some 'terrorist elements' infiltrated the rallies on Saturday, according to Iranian officials.

The insurgents set fire to a mosque, two gas stations and a military post in Western Tehran, leaving scores of people dead and wounded.

Supporters of the defeated candidates have staged a torrent of rallies, which have provoked unprecedented mayhem in the country over the past nine days.

Mir-Hossein Mousavi election campaign officials, however, have insisted that the defeated candidate's supporters are not within the rioters.

MOBILE BULLETIN - 0035GMT - Lebanon, Afghanistan,Iran,Iraq 29 June 09

28 June 2009 - The latest news from Al Jazeera.



Sunday, June 28, 2009

Iran releases 'some British Embassy staff'

Sun, 28 Jun 2009 | PressTV

Iran says certain members of the British Embassy staff in Tehran have been released after preliminary investigations but others will remain in custody.


"The British Embassy played a crucial role in the recent (post-election) unrest both through its local staff and via media," IRNA quoted Intelligence Minister Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje'i as saying on Sunday.

"We have photos and videos of certain local employees of the British Embassy, who collected news about the protests," he added.

"The Embassy sent its local staff to rallies and inculcated ideas into the protestors and the society," said the minister.

Iranian security officials on Saturday arrested eight of the British Embassy's local staff members for 'inflaming post-election tensions' in the country.

Following the June 12 election, which saw President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad re-elected to a second four-year term, Iran became the scene of rallies with defeated candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi rejecting the result as fraudulent and demanding a re-run.

Iran has lashed out at what it calls foreign 'interference' in its internal affairs, saying the 'biased' attitude of European countries and their media incited the post-election unrest.

Following the detention of the British Embassy staff in Tehran, foreign ministers of the European Union warned that the 27-member bloc would meet any Iranian intimidation of European diplomatic staff in Tehran with a "strong and collective response".

Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kohout, who is currently the EU president, also urged Iran to immediately release the detained British Embassy staff members and the Greek journalist arrested in the country.

"The EU calls on Iran and its authorities to stop hostilities against EU member states as well as (the) EU's partner countries and their citizens and to release an EU journalist still in custody," said Kohout.

"The EU strongly denounces arbitrary arrests and repression against members of the civil society," he added.

Iran Arrests 8 British Embassy Staff; Britain Calls Move "Harassment"


28/06/2009 | AlmanarTV

Iran has arrested eight local staff at the British embassy on accusations of having a role in the post-election riots, the Fars news agency reported on Sunday. Fars, without giving a source, said those arrested had a "considerable role" in the violence that erupted after the re-election of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.


Britain reacted swiftly to the reports of the arrests, accusing Iran of "harassment."

Iran's arrest of eight British embassy staff in Tehran is "harrassment" and "intimidation", British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said on Sunday.

Britain is "deeply concerned" by the arrest of "hardworking diplomatic staff", Miliband said on the sidelines of a meeting of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe on the Greek island of Corfu.

Rafsanjani Urges Cooperation With Guardian Council, Mousavi Rejects

Earlier, defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi has rejected a government proposal to recount 10 percent of all ballot boxes.

"This kind of recount will not remove ambiguities...There is no other way but annulment of the vote...Some members of this committee are not impartial," Mousavi said in a statement on his website.

Another defeated candidate Sheikh Mehdi Karroubi, also rejected the notion and called for the recent election results to be annulled.

On Friday, the spokesman of Iran's electoral watchdog, the Guardians Council, Abbasali Kadkhodai said that there was no fraud in the June 12 presidential election that saw Mahmoud Ahmadinejad win a new four-year term.

The Expediency Discernment Council, the highest political arbitral authority in Iran, has urged the candidates to fully cooperate with the Guardian Council. In a statement, the Council’s chief Sheikh Hashemi Rafsanjani said that the best way to resolve the situation and eliminate ambiguities was through legal channels. Rafsanjani called on the defeated candidates to fully cooperate with the Guardian Council and take advantage of the positive atmosphere to raise their issues and present their documents for an in-depth study.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Israel deploys troops along Lebanese border.

Fri, 26 Jun 2009 | PressTV

Lebanese army and United Nations officers inspect a former Israeli position bordering the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms, July 14, 2008.



The Israeli army has deployed its Mirkava tanks and personnel-carriers along the Lebanese border, Lebanon's National News Agency says.


The deployment took place on Thursday along the barb-wired fence which separates the Shebaa Farms from other parts of Lebanese territories. Israeli tanks were also gathering along a 5-km area, stretching from the Tallat Sobaih army post to Mount Hermon while sporadic gunfire was also heard throughout the day, the agency reported.

The Israeli air force also carried out a number of flights over the Shebaa Farms, al-Arqoub villages, Hasbaya, Marjayoun, western Bekaa and Iqlim al-Tuffah.
Shebaa Farms comprises of a group of 14 farms close to the poorly-defined border of Lebanon and Syria.

The farms were captured from Syria during the Six-Day Israeli War in 1967.
Lebanon says that Israel must leave the Shebaa Farms area, which it says lies on Lebanese territory while Israel contests this claim. Israel says that Shebaa is part of Syria's territory and its fate should be discussed in future peace talks with Damascus.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Seeing Through All the Propaganda About Iran

By Eric Margolis | June 23, 2009 "Lew Rockwell" -- WASHINGTON

– Iran’s political crisis continues to blaze. It’s still impossible to say which leaders or factions will emerge victorious, but one thing is certain: the earthquake in the Islamic Republic is shaking the Mideast and deeply confusing everyone, including the US government.

Highlighting the complexity of this crisis, Meir Dagan, the head of Israel’s intelligence agency, Mossad, reportedly voiced his hope that Iran’s embattled president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, would remain in office. On the surface, that sounds absurd, since Ahmadinejad is Israel’s Great Satan.

But, according to Dagan, if Ahmadinejad’s supposedly "moderate" rival, Mir Hossein Mousavi, came to power, it would be harder for Israel to keep up its propaganda war against Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Besides, added the Mossad chief, the devil you know is better.

Meanwhile, we have been watching an intensifying western propaganda campaign against Iran, mounted by the US and British governments. What we hear is commentary and analysis that comes from bitterly anti-regime Iranian exiles, "experts" with an ax to grind, and US pro-Israel neocons yearning for war with Iran.

In viewing the Muslim world, Westerners keep listening to those who tell them what they want to hear, rather than the facts. We are at it again in Iran.

President Barack Obama’s properly stated he would refrain from being seen to "meddle" in Iran’s internal affairs in spite of calls by hard-line Republicans for American action – whatever that might be. Obama did the right thing by apologizing for the US/British coup that overthrew Iran’s democratic Mossadegh government in 1953.

But that was not the whole story. Washington has been attempting to overthrow Iran’s Islamic government since the 1979 revolution and continues to do so in spite of pledges of neutrality in the current crisis.

The US has laid economic siege to Iran for 30 years, blocking desperately needed foreign investment, preventing technology transfers, and disrupting Iranian trade. In recent years, the US Congress voted $120 million for anti-regime media broadcasts into Iran, and $60-75 million funding opposition parties, violent underground Marxists like the Mujahidin-i-Khalq, and restive ethnic groups like Azeris, Kurds, and Arabs under the so-called "Iran Democracy Program."

The arm of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, remains withered from a bomb planted by the US-backed Mujahidin-i-Khalq, who were once on the US terrorist list.

Pakistani intelligence sources put CIA’s recent spending on "black operations" to subvert Iran’s government at $400 million.

According to an ABC News investigation, President George Bush signed a "finding" that authorized an accelerated campaign of subversion against the Islamic Republic. Washington’s goal was "regime change" in Tehran and installation of a pro-US regime of former Iranian royalist exiles.

While the majority of protests we see in Tehran are genuine and spontaneous, Western intelligence agencies and media are playing a key role in sustaining the uprising and providing communications, including the newest electronic method, via Twitter. These are covert techniques developed by the US during recent revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia that brought pro-US governments to power.

The Tehran government made things worse by limiting foreign news reports and arresting prominent politicians. Its leadership is increasingly – and dangerously – split over how to handle the protests.

We also hear lot of hypocrisy from Western capitals. Washington, Ottawa, London and Paris piously accused Iran of improper electoral procedures while utterly ignoring the total lack of democracy in their authoritarian Mideast allies such as Egypt, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia, that never hold elections and throw political opponents into prison and torture them. Compared to them, Iran, for all its faults, is almost a model of democratic governance.

The US, France and Saudi Arabia just cooperated to rig Lebanon’s recent elections, dishing out millions in bribe money to ensure victory of the pro-US faction. France’s President Nicholas Sarkozy had the chutzpah to rebuke Iran for improper election procedures after returning from the funeral of Gabon’s dictator, Omar Bongo, who had ruled for 41 years and supplied France with cheap oil.

When Hamas won a fair and square democratic election in Gaza, the US and Israel swiftly moved to mount a coup against the new Palestinian government.

US senators, led by John McCain, blasted Iran for not respecting human rights. That’s pretty rich after they just voted to bar the public release of ghastly torture photos from US prisons in Iraq, want secret US prisons kept open, and champion torture.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the dimmest bulbs in the weak-wattage Republican ranks, called for US intervention in Iran. Graham was an architect of the Iraq fiasco. Let’s air assault the warlike senator into downtown Tehran.

Über-moral Canada, which backed Pakistan’s military dictatorship under Gen. Pervez Musharraf, accused Tehran of unfair elections.

There are many questions about Iran’s vote, of which incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won by 60%.

Voter turnout was an amazing 84%, putting to shame the US and Europe, where less than half of voters exercise their right.

Pre-election polls that showed Ahmadinejad headed for a big win were right. All those foreigners praying for his defeat and the collapse of the Islamic government may be deeply disappointed.

But it also appears there were significant – though as far as we know now – not decisive irregularities. Iran’s government has admitted that some ballot boxes were stuffed, and the speaker of the Majils (parliament), the capable Ali Larijani, rebuked certain unnamed clerics for trying to rig results. This was extremely stupid, as Ahmadinejad was way ahead in pre-election polls anyway, and very popular.

This leaves Washington in a quandary. President Obama sincerely wants to enter into talks with Iran over its nuclear program and try to convince Tehran to give up enrichment. But hardliners in his cabinet and Congress are urging Obama to seize the opportunity to further destabilize Iran.

Bad idea. A stable Iran is essential to a stable Mideast. Mossad chief Dagan knows what he’s talking about. US and British efforts to subvert Iran’s government could yet blow up in our faces. And do we really need another monster crisis after Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Palestine?

Meanwhile, other Mideast nations allied to the US will look at Iran and conclude that giving any democratic rights can be downright dangerous and must be avoided at all costs.

Eric Margolis [send him mail], contributing foreign editor for Sun National Media Canada. He is the author of War at the Top of the World and the new book, American Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World. See his website.

Copyright © 2009 Eric Margolis

Iran's Intelligence Ministry has uncovered 'terrorist' plots targeting the country's security and stability during the presidential election.

Wed, 24 Jun 2009 | PressTV

Iran's Intelligence Minister Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei

Iran's Intelligence Ministry has uncovered 'terrorist' plots targeting the country's security and stability during the presidential election.


"The ministry has dismantled the groups involved in such activities and has arrested almost all group-members in two stages," IRNA quoted Intelligence Minister Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei on Wednesday.

He said that the plots included bomb attacks on several sites in Iran, adding that those behind such activities were linked with "the Zionist and non-Zionist regimes outside the county."

One of the targets, Mohseni-Ejei said, was the holy shrine of the late founder of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini. After the plot was foiled, the assailant detonated the bomb outside the shrine and "a number of people have been arrested regarding the suicide bombing," he added.

The Intelligence Ministry and the police also seized a group who were planning terrorist activities in the East of the country and confiscated their equipment.

"The police also captured another group, which planned to carry out a terrorist act in the city of Tabriz when one of the presidential candidates wanted to make a speech there," he explained.

"Some other terrorist groups in the south of the country especially in Ahvaz were identified and nabbed before they could carry out any activities," he went on to say.

According to the intelligence minister, the US and some western countries were aiming to achieve unrest in Iran's elections atmosphere.

When asked by a reporter about the arrest of foreign spies working under the guise of reporters, Mohseni-Ejei said, "Anybody who embarks on espionage activity in the country will be arrested. A foreign reporter has so far been nabbed and another one has been questioned and his things were confiscated."

The Iranian government has arrested a reporter working for the Newsweek and another one working for the Washington Times.

Police discover unrest HQ in Tehran

Wed, 24 Jun 2009 | PressTV

The Tehran Police say a building has been identified in the city which has been used as a 'headquarters' to promote post-election unrest.

The Intelligence and Security Department of the Tehran Police has declared that the building -- located on Tehran's Haft-e-Tir Square -- was investigated on Monday night after a search warrant was obtained, IRNA reported.

The plotters have been arrested and are currently under investigation.

Documents found in the building indicate an ongoing plot against Iran's security was being implemented, the police said in a statement.

“After scrutinizing the building, which was the campaign office of a presidential candidate, it was discovered that the organization of illegal gatherings, the promotion of unrest, and efforts to undermine the country's security were carried out from the building,” the statement added.

Evidence has been found in the building that reveals the role of foreign elements in planning post-election unrest.

The building has in fact been a “headquarters for a psychological war against the country's security,” the police said.

The building, sources told Press TV, was used by a Mir-Hossein Mousavi election campaign.


Iran's Rezaei withdraws election complaints

Wed, 24 Jun 2009 | PressTV

Withdrawing his complaint to the Guardian Council, Rezaei says it is time to focus on the current situation in Iran.

Presidential contender Mohsen Rezaei has withdrawn his complaints filed with the Guardian Council, the country's electoral watchdog, about the disputed presidential election.


“The [current] political, social and security situation has entered a sensitive and decisive phase, which is more important than the election,” Rezaei said in a letter to the Secretary of the Guardian Council, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati.

Citing an epic participation by the Iranian people in what he called a 'clear sample of religious democracy', Rezaei said despite of his insistence on following the complaints, he withdrew his appeal because of time shortage.

His letter came as Leader of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei accepted a request put forward by Ayatollah Jannati for extending the deadline to investigate complaints made to the body.

Rezaei came third in the election by winning 678,240 votes (1.73 percent).

The defeated candidates -- Mir-Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Mohsen Rezaei -- in the hotly-contested presidential election cried foul once incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared victor by a landslide in the June 12 poll.

Mousavi, Karroubi and Rezaei, according to the Guardian Council, had reported over 600 irregularities in the electoral process.

Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei, the council's spokesman, has suggested that the number of votes cast in 50 cities exceeded the actual number of voters.

However, he says there are no regulations barring travelers from casting their vote in a city other that their hometown.

Thus, the Guardian Council has ruled out the possibility of nullifying the disputed election, citing no record of any major irregularity.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Leader extends deadline for election probe

Tue, 23 Jun 2009 | PressTV

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution has agreed to extend the deadline for the investigati of three candidates' complaints about the June 12 presidential election.

Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei accepted a request by the secretary of Iran's Guardian Council -- which oversees the election process -- to extend the deadline, IRNonA reported on Tuesday.

In a letter to the Leader, Ahmad Jannati noted that the legal deadline to review complaints lodged by the candidates will expire on Wednesday and asked for five more days in order to make sure that all ambiguities about the election are cleared up.

Candidates Mehdi Karroubi, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, and Mohsen Rezaei have all complained about alleged irregularities in the election that gave incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad another.

Iran expels 2 British diplomats over riots.

Tue, 23 Jun 2009 | PressTV

Iranian police stand guard during an anti-Britain protest in front of the British embassy in Tehran June 23, 2009.

Iran has expelled two British diplomats from the country in protest to UK officials' 'interfering' remarks about post-election developments in Iran.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry said it ordered the second and third secretaries of the British embassy on Monday to leave Iran.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Tuesday that UK was expelling two Iranian diplomats in a tit-for-tat action.

Iran summoned the British ambassador to Tehran last week in protest to UK officials' remarks on Iran's post-election unrest, which has erupted since the re-election of incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the presidential vote last week.

Tehran condemned the British officials' remark as a clear interference in Iran's internal affairs, saying London is supporting 'illegal rallies' in the Iranian capital Tehran.

Iran has also condemned Britain's state-run BBC over dramatizing the situation in Iran by providing extensive coverage of the country's developments and provoking the post-election violence.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has rejected the claims, saying turning the dispute among Iranians about the election results into a battle between Iran and other countries -- the UK in particular - 'is without foundation'.

Iran ex-monarch's son asks Israel to back rioters.

Tue, 23 Jun 2009 | PressTV

The ousted Shah of Iran Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi's son urges Israel to support post-election riots in Iran to bring down the government of Tehran.

Reza Pahlavi, who is seen as a promising figure in pushing for a change of the government in Iran, told Maariv that Israel should back up recently sparked riots in Iran following the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the next president of the country.

The very existence of the ruling government in Iran could lead to a nuclear Holocaust, the former crown prince said but warned against an Israeli attack on the country.

Under the accusation that Iran poses an 'existential threat' to Israel, Tel Aviv, the Middle East's sole possessor of nuclear warheads, has repeatedly threatened Tehran with a military attack over its nuclear work.

Reza Pahlavi said that any military attack against Tehran could prompt the Iranians to stand by the government instead and therefore it would shatter hopes of any resumption of ties between Iran and Israel.

Iran and Israel had close ties before the 1979 Islamic Revolution overthrew the US-backed monarchy in Iran. The two cut off all relations following the revolution with Iran refusing to recognize Israel as a state.

Post-election unrests were sparked after the Interior Ministry declared Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the winner of the presidential election.

The capital, Tehran, and other cities have been the scene of illegal rallies in protest to the election results. The rallies have provoked unprecedented disorder in Iran over the past nine days.

Calm has, however, returned to Tehran after the Police warned against any illegal gatherings on Saturday.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and the Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hassan Qashqavi criticized certain Western countries for their meddling in the country's internal affairs.

Iranian officials have blamed US and British media outlets for the recent post-election turmoil across the country.

"Voice of America (VOA) and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) are state-funded channels and not privately-run. Their budgets are ratified in the US Congress, as well as the British Parliament. The two channels serve as mouthpieces of their respective governments," Qashqavi stated on Saturday.

Iran says the two media outlets have been dramatizing the situation in Iran by providing extensive coverage of the country's developments and provoking the post-election violence.

Over the past few weeks, the US and a certain number of European countries have expressed dismay over the recent political process in the country.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has summoned the ambassadors from Britain, France, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Canada to warn them against interfering in the internal affairs of the country.

Iran denies permission for anti-UK rally

Tue, 23 Jun 2009 | PressTV


On June 15, pro-Ahmadinejad protesters shouted slogans outside the British embassy in Tehran to protest foreign involvement in Iran's affairs.


Amid growing public anger against 'British interference in Iran's internal affairs', the Iranian Interior Ministry has refused to issue a permit for a rally outside the UK embassy in Tehran.


"Iran's Interior Ministry condemns Britain's interference but has granted no permission for the gathering outside the British embassy on Tuesday," the ministry said on its website.

Some university students were planning to stage a rally outside the British embassy to protest what they call foreign in Iran's June 12 election which has provoked unrest in the country.

Fars news agency said Iranian student unions have therefore called off the planned demonstration.

Meanwhile, Iran's Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani has called on the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission to make a revision in Tehran-London ties.

In recent days, the US and a slew of European powers -- namely Britain, France, Italy and Germany -- have lashed out at the Iranian government for the nature of its measures in restoring security in the country.

Following the victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran's 10th presidential elections, Iran became the scene of rallies with defeated presidential hopefuls Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi rejecting the result as fraudulent and demanding a re-run.

Iranian officials have accused Western powers of interfering in the country's internal affairs.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has rejected the claims, saying turning the dispute among Iranians about the election results into a battle between Iran and other countries -- the UK in particular -- "is without foundation."

"I reject categorically the idea that the protestors in Iran are manipulated or motivated by foreign countries," Miliband said on Sunday. "The UK is categorical that it is for the Iranian people to choose their government, and for the Iranian authorities to ensure the fairness of the result and the protection of their own people."

American Justice?

Tue, 23 Jun 2009 | PressTV

Abd Al Rahim Abdul Rassak

A US federal judge has ordered a Guantanamo detainee who was reportedly
tortured, imprisoned and abandoned by al Qaeda and the Taliban released.

The US government had argued that even though Abd Al Rahim Abdul Rassak was tortured by al Qaeda as a suspected Western spy, held by the Taliban for a year and a half and then abandoned, he was still allied with his tormentors.

US District Court Judge Richard Leon, however, rejected the prosecutor's claims in his ruling, which even included punctuation marks as an extra guarantee.

"I disagree… [US officials are] taking a position that defies common sense," wrote the judge in a 13-page written decision.

The judge said the government initially appeared to mistake Rassak as a suicide bomber based on videos captured at an al Qaeda safe house.

Later on, however, it was clear that the suspect had been tortured by al Qaeda.

In his verdict, the judge harshly attacked the notion that Rassak could be part of the same organization that had abused him.

"There is no evidence -- from either side -- as to why he suddenly was suspected by al Qaeda leaders of spying and was tortured for months into giving a false confession," Judge Leon wrote.

"It is highly unlikely that by that point in time al-Qaida (or the Taliban) had any trust or confidence in him. Surely extreme treatment of that nature evinces a total evisceration of whatever relationship might have existed!"

The Syrian detainee told US interrogators that he had stayed at a guesthouse used by Taliban and al Qaeda fighters for several days in 2000, where he had helped clean weapons. He also said that he had briefly attended a terror training camp.

"[Rassak] was conscripted by the Taliban who then turned on him after three weeks and subjected him to barbaric torture. He was imprisoned by the United States when he tried to provide information to us about his torturers," one of his lawyers, Steven Wax said.

"[The ruling] is yet another reminder that there are innocent men in Guantanamo," he added.

The US Justice Department has announced that it is reviewing the judge's ruling.

Iran Falls to US PSYOPS

By Paul Craig Roberts | June 22, 2009 "Information Clearing House"

President Obama called on the Iranian government to allow protesters to control the streets in Tehran. Would Obama or any US president allow protesters to control the streets in Washington, D.C.?


There was more objective evidence that George W. Bush stole his two elections than there is at this time of election theft in Iran. But there was no orchestrated media campaign to discredit the US government.

On May 16, 2007, the London Telegraph reported that Bush regime official John Bolton told the Telegraph that a US military attack on Iran would “be a ‘last option’ after economic sanctions and attempts to foment a popular revolution had failed.”

We are now witnessing in Tehran US “attempts to foment a popular revolution” in the guise of another CIA orchestrated “color revolution.” It is possible that splits among the mullahs themselves brought about by their rival ambitions will aid and abet what the Telegraph (May 27, 2007) reported were “CIA plans for a propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to destabilize, and eventually topple, the theocratic rule of the mullahs.” It is certainly a fact that the secularized youth of Tehran have played into the CIA’s hands.

The Mousavi protests have set up Iran either for a US puppet government or for a military strike. The mullahs are in a lose-lose situation. Even if the mullahs hold together and suppress the protests, the legitimacy of the Iranian government in the eyes of the outside world has been damaged. Obama’s diplomatic approach is over before it started. The neocons and Israel have won.

The US intervention and the orchestrated disinformation pumped out by the western media are so transparent that it is impossible to believe than any informed person or government is taken in. One cannot avoid the conclusion that the West wants the 1978 Iranian Revolution overthrown and intends to use deception or violence to achieve that goal.

It has become increasingly difficult to believe that facts and truth motivate the western news media. For the record, I would like to point out a few of the most obvious oversights, to use an euphemism, in the Iran reporting.

According to a wide variety of news sources (for example, London Telegraph, Yahoo News, The Globe and Mail, Asbarez.com, Politico), “Before the polling closed Mr. Mousavi declared himself ‘definitely the winner’ based on ‘all indications from all over Iran.’ He alleged widespread voting irregularities without giving specifics and hinted he was ready to challenge the final results.” Other news sources, which might not have been aware that the polls were kept open several hours beyond normal closing time in order to accommodate the turnout, reported that Mousavi made his victory claim the minute polls closed.

Mousavi’s premature claim of victory before polling was over or votes counted is clearly a preemptive move, the purpose of which is to discredit any other outcome. There is no other reason to make such a claim.

In Iran’s system, election fraud has no purpose, because a small select group of ruling mullahs select the candidates who are put on the ballot. If they don’t like an aspiring candidate, they simply don’t put him on the ballot.

When the liberal reformer Khatami ran for president, he won with 70% of the vote and served from 1997-2005. If the mullahs didn’t defraud Khatami of his win, it seems unlikely they would defraud an establishment figure like Mousavi, who was foreign minister in the most conservative government, and is backed by another establishment figure, Rafsanjani.

As Mousavi was seen as Rafsanjani’s man, why is it “unbelievable” that Ahmadinejad defeated Mousavi by the same margin that he defeated Rafsanjani in the previous election?

Neoconservative Kenneth Timmerman let the cat out of the bag that there was an orchestrated “color revolution” in the works. Before the election, Timmerman wrote: “there’s talk of a ‘green revolution’ in Tehran.” Why would protests be organized prior to a vote and announcement of the outcome? Organized protests waiting in the wings are not spontaneous responses to a stolen election.

Timmerman’s organization, Foundation for Democracy, is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) for the explicit purpose of promoting democracy in Iran. According to Timmerman, NED money was funneled to “pro-Mousavi groups who have ties to non-governmental organizations outside Iran that the National Endowment for Democracy funds.”

The US media has studiously ignored all of these highly suggestive facts. The media is not reporting or providing objective analysis. It is engaged in a propagandistic onslaught against the Iranian government.

We know that the US funds terrorist organizations inside Iran that are responsible for bombings and other violent acts. It is likely that these terrorist organizations are responsible for the burning buses and other acts of violence that have occurred during the demonstrations in Tehran.

A writer on pakalert.wordpress.com says that he was intrigued by the sudden appearance of tens of thousands of Twitter allegations that Ahmadinejad stole the Iranian election. He investigated, he says, and he reports that each of the new highly active accounts were created on Saturday, June 13th. “IranElection” is their most popular keyword. He narrowed the spammers to the most persistent: @StopAhmadi, @IranRiggedElect, and @Change_For_Iran. He researched further and found that On June 14 the Jerusalem Post already had an article on the new twitter. He concludes that the new Twitter sites are propaganda operations.

One wonders why the youth of the world, who do not protest stolen elections elsewhere, are so obsessed with Iran.

The unexamined question is Mousavi and his motives. Why would Mousavi unleash demonstrations that are obviously being used by a hostile West to discredit the government of the Iranian Revolution that overthrew the US puppet government? Are these the actions of a “moderate”? Or are these the actions of a disgruntled man who kept his disaffection from his colleagues in order to gain the opportunity to discredit the regime with street protests? Is Mousavi being manipulated by organizations funded with US government money?

John Bolton laid out the US strategy. First we try to destabilize the regime. Failing that, we strike them militarily. As this strategy unfolds, Iranians will pay in lost independence or in blood for the naiveness of its secularized youth and for the mistake the mullahs made in trusting Mousavi.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration.

Thai atau Siam: Mana lebih tepat?

Mon | Jun 22, 09 | harakahdaily- Ali Bukhari Amir

BERIKUTAN insiden pembunuhan kejam melibatkan 11 orang Islam ketika menunaikan solat Isyak di Masjid Al-Furqan, Kg Air Tempayan, Narathiwat 9 Jun lalu, kita wajarlah menyusun beberapa pelan tindakan berasaskan kebijaksanaan dan keberanian.

Setidak-tidaknya, ada tiga gerakan yang perlu terlibat iaitu gerakan ilmiah melibatkan ahli akademik, intelektual dan pensyarah, gerakan ketenteraan yang melibatkan Ahmad Zahid Hamidi dan rundingan politik melibatkan Menteri Luar Malaysia.

Percubaan awal untuk membincangkan isu ini di Parlimen menemui jalan buntu apabila Speaker Dewan Rakyat Pandikar Amin, di bawah Peraturan Mesyuarat 18(2) sudah pun menolak usul ini untuk dibincangkan segera.

Ahli Parlimen PAS Padang Terap, Mohd Nasir Zakaria meminta Malaysia mengambil inisiatif memanggil sidang khas Asean dengan segera bagi membincangkan pergolakan itu. Tambah Nasir, 'Malaysia perlu mendesak OIC agar mengiktirafnya sebagai orang tengah bagi membantu menyelesaikan masalah selatan Thailand.

Tetapi, jika tidak salah ingatan saya, Pertubuhan Persidangan Islam (OIC) sudah meminta Malaysia menjadi wakilnya untuk menangani kemelut di Selatan Thai sebelum ini.

Malangnya, tatkala menjawab tuntutan OIC ini, Rais Yatim berkata, bahawa kemelut itu melibatkan masalah hal-ehwal dalaman negara-negara Asean dan negara tidak boleh ikut mencampuri urusan dalaman Thai.

Akhirnya, titik penamatnya berlaku di situ. Mungkin Rais boleh dihubungi semula untuk mengesahkan hal berkenaan.

Libatkan juga Britain

Selain ketenteraan negara, pergerakan intelektual dan rundingan kuasa politik, pihak yang perlu kita libatkan ialah kerajaan Britain sendiri.

Perjanjian Inggeris - Siam 1909 (Perjanjian Bangkok 1909, Perjanjian Anglo Siam 1909) di Istana Raja Thailand, bersama Gabenor Negeri-Negeri Selat Sir John Anderson adalah antara titik tolak yang menyaksikan pemecahan kerajaan Melayu Patani.

Isi perjanjian pada tahun 1909 itu melibatkan perkara-perkara berikut. Antaranya:

1. Kerajaan Melayu Pattani meliputi wilayah Yala dan Narathiwat di Thailand disahkan sebagai jajahan Thailand. Padahal kerajaan Melayu Patani tidak diajak berunding dalam perjanjian itu.
2. Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan dan Terengganu yang sebelum ini dijajah Thailand diserahkan kepada Britain.
3. Negeri Kedah dan Perlis menerima seorang penasihat British pada tahun 1909.
4. Kelantan menerima penasihat British pada tahun 1910.
5. Terengganu menerima penasihat British pada tahun 1919.

Mungkin inilah asal-usul penjajahan Thai terhadap Melayu di utara Semenanjung dengan rasminya melalui pengiktirafan British; sebuah empayar terbesar pada saat itu.

Uusan mengkaji segala bentuk rundingan dan perjanjian yang terkait dengan penjajahan Yala, Narathiwat ini, maka ia terpundak di atas bidang tanggungjawab intelektual.

Tentera Malaysia perlu ambil peranan bersama

Desas-desus andaian yang kerap merebak dalam kalangan Melayu Islam di selatan Thai adalah, kebanyakan serangan itu berlaku dengan sebab tentera Thai sendiri yang terpecah dua; Utara dan Selatan.

Tapi, sejauhmanakah Ahmad Zahid Hamidi bersetuju untuk mewujudkan rondaan tentera di wilayah berkenaan masih diragui. Sebelum dilantik sebagai Menteri Pertahanan, Zahid pernah mencadangkan Pakatan Ketenteraan Negara Islam.

Tetapi selepas dilantik, Zahid berdiam diri. Tidak mustahil, Zahid Hamidi akan berbelah-bahagi dan takut-takut mengguna ketenteraan guna mengawal pergolakan di selatan Thai. Rakyat Malaysia yang prihatin perlu melobi agar hal ini tetap didebatkan.

Bantah nama Thai, ganti dengan Siam

Menelaah sejarah tentunya melibatkan fikiran yang mengundang keletihan. Di sana, telahpun ada usaha pengkarya filem yang mengeluarkan Queen of Langkasuka (Thai), Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa (Malaysia, bakal terbit) untuk menggeledah kisah-kisah purba.

Mungkin dengan jalan ini, setidak-tidaknya, perca-perca gambaran sejarah dapat dimuat dalam gambaran rakyat. Tapi, perkembangan mutakhir ini di Thailand agak menarik. Dan ia dimulai dengan gerakan intelektual, bukan melalui kuasa politik dan ketenteraan.

Misalnya, baru-baru ini, ahli sejarah terkemuka, Charnvit Kasetsiri membuat bantahan ke atas Perdana Menteri Abhisit Vejjajiva dan beberapa jawatankuasa politik untuk menukar nama negara itu daripada Thailand kepada nama asalnya; Siam.

Siam adalah negara asal di mana ia memiliki benderanya sendiri, berwarna merah dengan gambar seekor gajah putih menghiasi bendera tersebut.

Mantan rektor Thammasat University itu berkata piagam perlu diubah dari 'Perlembagaan Negeri Thailand' kepada 'Perlembagaan Negeri bagi Siam' atau 'Perlembagaan Siam". Ini perlu bagi tujuan menggalakkan 'perpaduan ', 'keharmonian' dan 'perdamaian'.

Akademikus itu berkata, bahawa usaha menamakan semula Thai itu adalah langkah awal untuk merawat kemelut politik dan masyarakat di negara itu yang terdiri daripada 60 juta rakyat termasuk lebih daripada 50 kumpulan etnik.

Menurut ahli sejarah itu, Thai sebagai sebuah negara, telah beransur-ansur menjadi 'ultra nasionalisme' dalam beberapa dekad lalu yang mungkin menjadi replika negara sebelum itu. Rusuhan politik di negara itu berlaku kerana rakyat bukan saja dipisah melalui sikap politik yang berbeza, tetapi yang jauh lebih penting, wujudnya peminggiran etnik.

Usaha menamakan semula negara Siam itu boleh menjadi batu loncatan untuk menyusun penyelesaian yang dinantikan rakyat negara itu, kata ahli akademik tersebut.

Dinamakan Siam, sejak Ayutthaya

Semua orang negara ini telah digelar Siam sejak era pemerintahan Ayutthaya era. Maka, dengan sebab campurtangan British dengan Thai, kaum-kaumMelayu diperangkap dalam beberapa perjanjian mereka.

Menurut Charnvit Kasetsiri, sejak Perang Dunia Kedua bermula, faham Hitler Nazisme di Jerman dan fasisme di Itali dan Jepun. Ketika inilah kerajaan tentera pimpinan Field Marshal Phibulsongkhram (Por) dipengaruhi ultra nasionalisme Nazisme dan fasisme. Akhirnya, nama bangsa Thai menenggelamkan nama Siam, nama sebuah negara.

Tambahnya, perubahan nama Thai kepada Siam adalah untuk membawa keharmonian di negara itu yang terdiri daripada 50 kumpulan etnik dengan bahasa masing-masing. Antara mereka selain Thai adalah Yuan, Laos, Lue, Melayu, Mon, Khmer, Teochiu, Cantonese, Hokkien, Hainan, Hakka, Cham, Sakai, Tamil, Pathan, Parsi, Arab, Phuan, Tai Yai, Phu Tai, Yong, Hmong, Karen, Museur dan Farang, dan sebagainya.

Melayu selatan Thai bukan orang Thai

Dalam temubual di Bangkok Post, Charnvit Kasetsiri menjelaskan bahawa secara etniknya, orang Islam selatan Thai bukan orang Thai, sebaliknya keturunan Melayu. Tapi mereka terpaksa menamakan diri mereka sebagai orang Thai atas dasar kewilayahan.

"Tiada salahnya dengan 'Siam', tetapi istilah itu tak menjelaskan siapakah raja di sini. Ia karut. Apa-apa pun, istilah 'Thai' merujuk bangsa, dan bukan negara itu," kata beliau.

Agak menarik ialah ketika Charnvit Kasetsiri memberi penjelasan asal-usul nama Siam yang menjadi sebab, kenapakah nama Siam itu ternyata lebih baik berbanding Thai untuk diabadikan sebagai nama kepada sebuah negara.

"Siam berasal daripada perkataan purba 'Sam', bermaksud tanah suai tani. Dalam Khmer dan Mon ada istilah 'siem', merujuk nama Siem Reap. Dalam bahasa Burma, ada istilah 'shan', kerana ada Negeri Shan, dan di Jepun, ada istilah 'shamuro'," tambahnya.

Selain itu, tambah akademikus itu, permulaan abjad 's' untuk Siam, dianggap lebih baik untuk nama negara itu berbanding permulaan abjad 'th', untuk Thailand, yang kedengaran seperti 'Taiwan' kepada orang-orang Barat.

Kekuatan kejujuran intelektual Thai

Selain usaha kita dalam menolong Melayu di selatan Thai, perlu dilibatkan juga kekuatan intelektual di universiti Thai selain pergerakan politik, ketenteraan dan intelektualis untuk mendorong kemajuan perdamaian di wilayah berkenaan.

Kita tak boleh melihat penyelesaian ini melibatkan politik sahaja. Terbukti, Parlimen kita sendiri telah menolak perbincangan berhubung usul membincangkan kemelut di wilayah tersebut. Rais Yatim tidak dapat berbuat apa-apa dengan alasan, sesama negara Asean tak boleh mencampuri urusan pergolakan dalam negara masing-masing.

Rasa-rasanya, tafsiran dan debat ke atas prinsip tidak campurtangan antara sesama negara Asean ini masih boleh dikaji semula.

Sedangkan wilayah Palestin yang bergolak kerana dibedil tentera Israel boleh kita peduli dengan menubuhkan tabung bantuan dan menggerakkan kempen kesedaran mengenainya kenapa dalam isu ini, seperti tiada kumpulan yang wujud untuk mengatur gerakan melobi dan pergerakan intelektual untuk tujuan merawat masalah yang sama?

5:29 a.m, 20 Jun
Sekolah Pemikiran Kg Baru

Sila layari pautan - http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/16824/what-s-in-a-name

Ahmadinejad corrected the path of the Revolution

In Retro | Fri, 05 Jun 2009 | ISNA

The following is a summary of an interview with Mahdi Kalhor, (photo) a close aide to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by the Japanese daily Asahi Shimbon.

Q.What is the strategy of President Ahmadinejad and his team in their election campaign?

A.Mr. Ahmadinejad will not run any campaign because we believe that he is one of the most famous presidents both inside and outside the country and he could not be introduced more than this ... The headquarters of Ahmadinejad's supporters, therefore, have been instructed not to oppose his rivals and avoid exaggeration about the government's performance. At the same time, they have been told to correct any misinformation provided by the President's rivals about the government ... We believe that what the Ahmadinejad administration did was pushing Iran's society with its class rifts toward returning to the values of the Islamic Revolution. From the ethical viewpoint, there are no classes in an Islamic society, so a man with great knowledge is considered to be more revered than others but no one has a better situation in society just based on his/her wealth, or someone with power or position is not superior to ordinary people. Both have one vote in elections and if they commit a crime they will be punished on an equal basis. Wealthier people should serve more.

We believe that from the era of Imam Khomeini until the 9th government, the country had been heading toward a society with class rifts like a monarchy and such trends have had precedents in our country. The late Imam, however, believed that the state is the servant of the nation as the Prophet (PBUH) did. The Prophet never sat in a better position than others in meetings and when he was among others, you could not recognize him. The Revolution was to spread this culture in society, so Ahmadinejad's team came to revive the Revolution's way of life and that's why the people chant slogans about [former President] Rajai.

Martyr Rajai led a simple life and Mr. Ahmadinejad put an emphasis on following suit in the last four years ... So Mr. President will follow this policy if reelected ... for example under Rajai the salaries of the cabinet members were cut by 75 percent.

Q.Has this payment cut been limited to the Rajai's administration?

A.The current administration has also cut payments to its members and some cabinet members including Mr. Ahmadinejad and myself, only receive payments from the universities we work with. That is the way of life that people are familiar with through the government's provincial tours. We believe that the country's wealth should be distributed equally among the people and in all parts of the country and we are against centralism.

Q.Has your campaign team targeted specific social classes?

A.Not at all; we have supporters both among the rich and the lowest income people. In our society, the rich do not necessarily accept capitalistic values.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Proof: Israeli Effort to Destabilize Iran Via Twitter.

Were these legitimate Iranian people or the works of a propaganda machine? I became curious and decided to investigate the origins of the information. In doing so, I narrowed it down to a handful of people who have accounted for 30,000 Iran related tweets in the past few days. Each of them had some striking similarities -

1. They each created their twitter accounts on Saturday June 13th.
2. Each had extremely high number of Tweets since creating their profiles.
3. “IranElection” was each of their most popular keyword
4. With some very small exceptions, each were posting in ENGLISH.
5. Half of them had the exact same profile photo
6. Each had thousands of followers, with only a few friends. Most of their friends were EACH OTHER.

Why were these tweets in English? Why were all of these profiles OBSESSED with Iran? It became obvious that this was the work of a team of people with an interest in destabilizing Iran. The profiles are phonies and were created with the sole intention of destabilizing Iran and effecting public opinion as to the legitimacy of Iran’s election.[more]

Guardian Council rules out vote nullification.

Mon, 22 Jun 2009 | PressTV

Iran's Guardian Council rules out the possibility of nullifying the country's June 12 Presidential election, saying there has been no record of any major irregularity.


Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei (photo), the council's Spokesman said late on Monday that most of the complaints reported irregularities before the election, and not during or after the vote. He added that the Guardian Council was not the relevant body to look into such complaints.

The Guardian Council is the body in charge of supervising the elections and has to approve the outcome before any result could be official.

"If a major breach occurs in an election, the Guardian Council may annul the votes that come out of a particular affected ballot box, polling station, district, or city like how it was done in the parliamentary elections," Kadkhodaei said.

"Fortunately, in the recent presidential election we found no witness of major fraud or breach in the election. Therefore, there is no possibility of an annulment taking place," he added.

Iran's Interior Ministry declared President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the winner of the June 12th election with almost two-thirds of the vote.

The defeated candidates, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Mohsen Rezaei, cried foul once the results were announced and reported over 600 irregularities in the electoral process to the Guardian Council.

Kadkhodaei also denied accusations that polling stations had closed before all voters could cast their ballots.

He said in some polling stations balloting had continued up to three-and-a-half-hours past the official 10 p.m. deadline.

"We had polling stations in Golestan Province that were open to voters until 2 a.m. Although 10 p.m. was announced as the closing time, polling stations were told to allow people to vote as long as there were queues," he said.

The council had agreed to randomly re-count 10% of the ballots. However, Mousavi and Karroubi rejected the move, calling for the annulment of the election.

The spokesman also announced that the Guardian Council has received reports from relevant provincial boards that have been assigned to look into complaints regarding illegal campaigning on Election Day, expelling candidate representatives from polling stations and paying for votes.

Kadkhodaei concluded that the initial reports showed that no "series of violations had occurred."

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