Iranian Reformer Claims Widespread Voter Fraud In Lopsided Results

Wow, Iran is actually more like America than I thought! I wonder when the president's going to send in his thugs to shut down the vote count?

TEHRAN, June 13 -- Iran's election commissioner declared Saturday that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won a decisive victory in most of the country's electoral districts in Friday's presidential election, but the incumbent's leading challenger protested the results, charging widespread vote fraud and vowing to resist a "dangerous manipulation" of the balloting.

Mir Hossein Mousavi, a former prime minister who waged a heated campaign against Ahmadinejad's bid for reelection, urged his supporters to reject a "governance of lie and dictatorship."

"I'm warning that I won't surrender to this manipulation," Mousavi said in a statement posted on his Web site Saturday. He said the announced results were "shaking the pillars of the Islamic Republic of Iran's sacred system" and represented "treason to the votes of the people." He warned that the public would not "respect those who take power through fraud."

Mousavi made the comments after Iran's election chief, Kamran Daneshjoo, said on state television that Ahmadinejad received nearly 21.8 million votes, or more than 63 percent, of the nearly 34.4 million valid votes cast in 346 of Iran's 366 electoral districts. He said Mousavi received 11.7 million votes, or 34 percent.

However, officials delayed without explanation an expected announcement of the complete results, which news agencies said suggested intervention by Iran's Islamic authorities to tamp down a potentially volatile situation.

Riot police cordoned off the Interior Ministry, which directed Friday's voting, and stood guard around key government buildings.

Plainclothes officers fired tear gas to disperse a cheering crowd outside Mousavi's campaign headquarters after the pivotal presidential election ended in confusion, with both sides claiming victory.

UPDATE:

NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario – The U.S. on Saturday refused to accept hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's claim of a landslide re-election victory in Iran and said it was looking into allegations of election fraud.

"We are monitoring the situation as it unfolds in Iran, but we, like the rest of the world, are waiting and watching to see what the Iranian people decide," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said at a news conference with Canada's foreign affairs minister, Lawrence Cannon.

Minutes after Clinton spoke, the White House released a two-sentence statement praising "the vigorous debate and enthusiasm that this election generated, particularly among young Iranians," but expressing concern about "reports of irregularities."

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