Tuesday, June 30, 2009

'It's hard for the West to believe Ahmadinejad won'

Benjamin Jofe-Walt: "The electoral system is computerized, each voter's identification is in a computerized database and their fingerprints are on the stubs of the ballots," Dr Marandi added. "Even independent Western-based polls prior to the elections put Ahmadinejad well ahead."

Kourosh Ziabari, a political correspondent with the Foreign Policy Journal, agreed. "Even if we take into account the possibility of electoral fraud, which I categorically think should be investigated, it is still realistic to believe that Ahmadinejad was the winner," he told The Media Line.

"As a self proclaimed reformist journalist I am trying to be unbiased and objective, and whether the elections have been rigged or not, Mr. Ahmadinejad enjoys high popularity, especially in the countryside and among low income city dwellers. His victory was not such a surprise, even to reformists."

Iran's Guardian Council said Tuesday that there was "no major fraud" in the disputed June 12 elections and ruled out setting aside the results - less than 24 hours after conceding that there had been voting irregularities in 50 Iranian cities.

The council, Iran's highest legislative body responsible for overseeing controversial elections, rejected calls to annul and repeat the elections despite over a week of the worst protests Iran has seen in decades.

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