TEHRAN (Reuters) – Hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won Iran’s election by a thumping margin, according to official results which his moderate challenger rejected on Saturday as a “dangerous charade” that could lead to tyranny.
The level of the incumbent’s support, nearly twice as many votes as former Prime Minister Mirhossein Mousavi with most ballots counted from Friday’s poll, confounded widespread expectations that the race would at least go to a second round.
Mousavi protested against what he said were many obvious violations in Friday’s presidential election.
“I’m warning I will not surrender to this dangerous charade. The result of such performance by some officials will jeopardize the pillars of the Islamic Republic and will establish tyranny,” he said in a statement made available to Reuters.
Iranian and Western analysts abroad greeted the results with disbelief. They said Ahmadinejad’s re-election would disappoint Western powers aiming to convince Iran to halt work they suspect is aimed at making bombs, and could further complicate efforts by U.S. President Barack Obama to reach out to Tehran.
“It doesn’t augur well for an early and peaceful settlement of the nuclear dispute,” said Mark Fitzpatrick at London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies.
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