Iran General NewsAhmadinejad says disputed vote "free and healthy"

Ahmadinejad says disputed vote “free and healthy”

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ImageReuters: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday an election in which he secured another four-year term was "free and healthy", rejecting allegations of irregularities by a moderate rival in the vote.

ImageTEHRAN, June 13 (Reuters) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday an election in which he secured another four-year term was "free and healthy", rejecting allegations of irregularities by a moderate rival in the vote.

"People voted for my policies," the conservative president said in a televised address a day after the disputed election, in his first post-election comment.

"It was a free and healthy election," he said, without making direct reference to assertions by former Prime Minister Mirhossein Mousavi that there were many violations in the vote.

As he was speaking, supporters of Mousavi clashed with police in various places in Tehran, chanting anti-Ahmadinejad slogans, witnesses said.

"Everybody should respect people's vote … we need a calm atmosphere to build the country," Ahmadinejad said.

He also took a swipe at his opponents in the election, which was marked by unprecedented mudslinging.

Ahmadinejad, who swept to power in 2005 pledging to revive the values of the 1979 Islamic revolution, accused his opponents of corruption during the campaign. They accused him of lying about the economy, which is suffering from high inflation.

"I named some people during the campaign. I was accused of insulting them, but it is not an insult," he said, referring to his comments about former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a backer of Mousavi.

"Those who have revolutionary background are not allowed to have extravagant demands," he said. (Reporting by Parisa Hafezi; writing by Fredrik Dahl; editing by Jon Boyle)

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