Electoral watchdog says disputed vote Iran's 'cleanest'
Iran's electoral watchdog insisted on Friday that this month's disputed presidential vote was the cleanest ever, rejecting opposition allegations of fraud that have brought hundreds of thousands onto the streets.
"After 10 days of examination, we did not see any major irregularities," Guardians Council spokesman Abbasali Kadkhodai told the official IRNA news agency.
"We have had no fraud in any presidential election and this one was the cleanest election we have had. I can say with certainty that there was no fraud in this election."
The council is expected to give its final ruling on Monday after supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gave it an additional five days to investigate complaints filed by the defeated candidates.
Two weeks after the vote, protests in Tehran over hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election have receded after the authorities responded to the worst crisis since the 1979 Islamic revolution with a fierce crackdown that has intensified despite an international outcry.
State-run English-language Press TV said on Thursday that 20 people have been killed in the protests, including eight members of Iran's Basij militia. Other state media have reported that 17 civilians have been killed.
Foreign ministers of the Group of Eight most industrialised nations were expected to condemn the post-election violence at a meeting in Italy on Friday.