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Ahmadinejad Defends His 'Completely Free' Election While Iranians Riot In The Streets

I don't know what to say. Isn't rioting in the streets the appropriate reaction when your country is taken over through election fraud? What's the a

I don't know what to say. Isn't rioting in the streets the appropriate reaction when your country is taken over through election fraud? What's the alternative, to reward theft? We've already seen what that did here!

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has defended his "completely free" re-election as Iran's president, amid violent clashes on the streets over claims of election fraud.

Mr Ahmadinejad condemned the outside world for "psychological warfare" against Iranians during the election.

Thousands have protested against the result, burning barricades on the streets of Tehran and clashing with police, who responded with tear gas.

Reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi urged his supporters to avoid violence.

Speaking on national television, Mr Ahmadinejad praised the Iranian people for choosing to "look toward the future" rather than returning to the past.

"This is a great victory at a time and condition when the whole material, political and propaganda facilities outside of Iran and sometimes... inside Iran, were total mobilised against our people," he said.

He blamed "foreign media" for instigating a "full-fledged fight against our people".

"Nearly 40 million people took part in a totally free election," he said.

However, the official result, which gave Mr Ahmadinejad a resounding victory - 63% of the vote against 34% for Mr Mousavi - brought the worst violence seen in Tehran for a decade, correspondents said.

The BBC's John Simpson saw secret policemen being attacked and chased away by protesters, which he says is extremely rare.

Some of the protesters in Tehran wore Mr Mousavi's campaign colour of green and chanted "Down with the dictator", news agencies report.

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