Ayatollah Khamenei Orders Probe of Contested Iran Election

Ahmadinejad Delays Russia Visit as Clashes Continue

Clashes continued on the streets of Tehran today as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered a clerical panel to investigate allegations by former prime minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi that the Interior Ministry had rigged the election in favor of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei voting in Friday's election

Mousavi’s supporters have been out in force on the streets of Tehran and to a lesser extent some of Iran’s other large cities since the results were announced on Saturday, and several including Mousavi himself have been reportedly arrested. Confirmation of the exact situation on the ground is difficult, however, given the strict curbs on the media since the crisis began.

Khamenei had previously praised the vote and urged support for Ahmadinejad. He is now urging Mousavi and his followers to seek redress through legal means rather than through rioting in the streets. It seems nothing at this point is going to stop the clashes however.

President Ahmadinejad was scheduled to visit Russia tomorrow, but has reportedly delayed the trip given the unrest in Iran. He has likened the violence to the clashes often seen after a major soccer match, and urged the protesters to accept the results.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.