Khamenei Praises Vote, Urges Support for Ahmadinejad

Interior Ministry Rules Ahmadinejad Victor by Wide Margin

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei today congratulated the nation on its high voter turnout, which the Interior Ministry suggested was roughly 85% of elligible voters. He also declared that “the spirit of calm presented by the nation, in the face of enemy propaganda and the nation’s mass participation was such that makes it indescribable in words.”

Ayatollah Khamenei casting his vote in yesterday's election

The final count from the Interior Minister ruled incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the victor by a large margin, as was expected from the preliminary results they’d released throughout the day yesterday. Khamenei called on Ahmadinejad’s rivals to “support and aid him, as this is a divine test for us all.”

Yet at the moment, supporters of Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the principle rival, are reported to be rioting in the streets of Tehran after Mousavi himself condemned the results and insisted he had in fact won by a large margin. Interior Minister Sadeq Mahsouli insists that despite this furore, he has received no written complaints alleging voter fraud.

The official results gave Ahmadnejad a nearly 2 to 1 margin over Mousavi, which was actually not out of keeping with pre-election polls. Despite this, the enormous turnout was seen by many to be in Mousavi’s favor, and many expected the final vote to be much closer than it ended up being.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.