27 Jun 2009

Iran council says election vote fair

9:22 am on 27 June 2009

Iran's top legislative body said it found no major violations in the 12 June presidential election which it described as the "healthiest" since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The powerful Guardian Council has rejected a call for annulment of the vote by reformist former prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, who led mass protests after he was declared a distant second behind incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

However the council will continue with plans to have votes from 10% of ballot boxes recounted.

Iranian authorities have used a combination of warnings, arrests and the threat of police action to drive mass rallies off Tehran's street since Saturday with smaller gatherings dispersed with tear gas and baton charges.

Iranian state television said eight Basij militiamen were killed by rioters during the mass protests that erupted after the poll.

State media had previously said 20 people were killed in the violence.

Authorities have accused Mr Mousavi of responsibility for the bloodshed, while he says the government is to blame.