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Rafsanjani: "Doubts" Remain about Iranian Election


Former Iranian President delivered a fiery sermon Friday, criticizing the country's leadership for its crackdown on election protests.

The influential cleric said the will of the people must be respected, and said many Iranians still have "doubts" about last month's disputed presidential vote. He also called for the release of detained opposition supporters.

Defeated presidential candidate, and opposition leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi attended the prayer service at Tehran University.

Thousands of opposition supporters staged protests outside. Witnesses say police fired tear gas and used batons to disperse the crowds.

Al Arabiya TV reported that those in charge of the official Iranian Broadcasting Corporation had been warned not to televise the Rafsanjani sermon and not to film the crowds in attendance.

The sermon was broadcast on Iranian radio, while Iranian TV instead focused on a speech given by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a day earlier.

Mr. Mousavi, a former prime minister, alleges the Iranian government rigged the vote in favor of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was declared the winner in a landslide.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the country's powerful Guardian Council have said the results will not be annulled and have warned against further demonstrations.

For nearly a week after the election, Mr. Mousavi's supporters staged huge demonstrations in Tehran and rallied in other cities in Iran's biggest unrest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Some of the gatherings led to clashes with security forces before a government crackdown forced the demonstrations to thin out.

On Thursday, President Ahmadinejad accused Western nations of trying to interfere in Iran's presidential election. He vowed to strike the offending nations so hard that they "lose their way home."
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