Loser demands review of Iranian elections

TEHRAN - Defeated candidate Mirhossein Mousavi yesterday demanded that Iran's presidential election be annulled and urged more protests, while tens of thousands of people hailed the victory of the hardline Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

TEHRAN - Defeated candidate Mirhossein Mousavi yesterday demanded that Iran's presidential election be annulled and urged more protests, while tens of thousands of people hailed the victory of the hardline Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Mousavi's supporters again took to the streets after violence on Saturday, clashing with police in protests that have underscored political rifts exposed by Friday's disputed vote.

In a statement on his website, Mousavi said he had formally asked the guardian council, a legislative body, to cancel the election result.

"I urge you, Iranian nation, to continue your nationwide protests in a peaceful and legal way," he said.

The unrest that has rocked Tehran and other cities since the results were declared on Saturday, is the sharpest expression of discontent against the Islamic Republic's leadership for years.

The election result has disconcerted Western powers trying to induce the world's fifth biggest oil exporter to curb its nuclear programme.

US President Barack Obama had urged Iran's leadership "to unclench its fist" for a new start in ties.

US Vice President Joe Biden cast doubt on the election result but said Washington was reserving its position for now.

"It sure looks like the way they're suppressing speech, the way they're suppressing crowds, the way in which people are being treated, that there's some real doubt," he told NBC's Meet the Press when asked if Ahmadinejad had won the vote.

Ahmadinejad appeared amid a sea of red, white and green Iranian flags waved by partisans thronging Tehran's Vali-e Asr square, some perched on rooftops or cars, to applaud the victory he achieved with a surprising 63percent of the vote.

"Some ... say the vote is disrupted, there has been a fraud. Where are the irregularities in the election? he said.

"Some people want democracy only for their own sake. Some want elections, freedom, a sound election. They recognise it only as long as the result favours them."

After the rally witnesses said Ahmadinejad and Mousavi supporters clashed on a Tehran street. - Reuters

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