Protesters clashed with police in the streets of Tehran Saturday,
following the re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The violence broke out Saturday shortly after Iran's interior minister (Sadeq Mahsouli)
declared Mr. Ahmadinejad had won 62.6 percent of the vote. The results
give the Iranian president nearly twice the number of votes as his
closest rival, reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, who won 33.75
In an address, Mr. Ahmadinejad declared the vote a great victory and called it a "completely free election."
But Mr. Mousavi alleged the vote was marred by serious vote
irregularities, and thousands of his supporters marched in the streets
of Tehran to denounce the results. Some hurled rocks at police, who
used batons to beat back the demonstrators.
Mobile phone service has been cut off in the capital, and there are
reports of problems accessing social networking sites such as Facebook.
The election results have surprised many analysts who predicted a tight race between the incumbent president and Mr. Mousavi.
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, welcomed the results. He
said the high voter turnout -- at more than 80 percent -- and the 24
million votes cast for Mr. Ahmadinejad are a "real celebration."
Videos of the demonstrations have been pouring in over social media
networks, with images of fires burning in the streets protesters
chanting slogans. Videos received by employees of VOA's Persian News Network on their
personal accounts on the social networking site Facebook show thousands
of opposition supporters marching in the streets.
Mr. Ahmadinejad's rivals have accused him of badly mismanaging the
economy and tarnishing Iran's image, further isolating the country from