Ahmadinejad supporters hold unity rally
Press TV – June 16, 2009
Hundreds of thousands of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's supporters gather in a central Tehran square to call for unity and respect for the people's vote.
The ralliers met once again at Valli-Asr Square, where they had gathered on Sunday to celebrate the results of the country's Friday elections with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who according to figures released by the interior ministry won a second term in office with 63 percent of the votes.
This time however, the president will not be among them as he is on a visit to Russia to take part in the Shanghai Cooperation Council summit.
The pro-Ahmadinejad demonstrators came together at Valli-Asr square just a day after supporters of former premier Mir-Hossein Mousavi rallied elsewhere in central Tehran.
Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi who ran against president Ahmadinejad have not accepted the election results.
Mousavi, who has called for an annulment, submitted his complaint to the Guardian Council along with the fourth defeated candidate Mohsen Rezaei.
The Guardian Council, which is in charge of supervising elections in Iran, has responded to the requests on Tuesday by announcing that it is ready for a partial recount in the presence of candidate representatives.
According to the announcement, votes of disputed ballot boxes would be counted again.
Press TV's correspondent Homa Lezgi who was at the scene of Tuesday's rally reported that Moussavi's supporters had also gathered at the square a few hours ago, but moved on up Valli-Asr street toward Vanak square.
The pro-Ahmadinejad ralliers were chanting slogans in support of the president, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, while inviting supporters of Mousavi to national unity by chanting, "we are of the same nation", she added.
They also carried banners which read "no one should question the 40 million votes of the Iranian nation nor doubt their decision".
Former parliament speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel addressed the crowd, urging Mousavi to accept defeat. He also said that the election should not divide the people.
Lezgi who later reported from Vanak square said that the gathering of Mousavi's supporters had also turned into a massive rally.
She added that the demonstrators, who were carrying green banners of the Mousavi campaign, were calm, as their chosen candidate had requested.
Mousavi however cancelled a planned demonstration on Tuesday warning his of what he called "a trap of planned clashes."
Last updated 18/06/2009