State media: Ahmeanie wins reelection in Iran

The results aren’t official yet, but here’s the latest, via Reuters:

TEHRAN (Reuters) – State media declared President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the winner of Iran’s election but challenger Mirhossein Mousavi alleged irregularities and claimed victory for himself.

The state election commission said early Saturday that Ahmadinejad, a hardline conservative, was ahead with 66 percent of the votes in Friday’s election after 21 million ballots were counted.

Ahmadinejad’s main challenger, moderate former prime minister Mirhossein Mousavi, had 31 percent, according to the commission, which is part of the Interior Ministry. It said 61 percent of all ballot boxes had now been counted.

The official news agency IRNA said: “Dr Ahmadinejad, by winning most votes at the 10th presidential election, has secured his victory.” It said results would be announced at 8 a.m. (0330 GMT).

A bitterly fought campaign has generated intense excitement inside Iran and strong interest around the world, with policymakers looking for signs of a change of approach by Tehran, whose ties with the West worsened under Ahmadinejad.

Mousavi had earlier tried to pre-empt official announcements by calling a news conference at which he alleged there had been irregularities, including a shortage of ballot papers.

“I am the definite winner of this presidential election,” he declared.

It was unclear how his supporters, who thronged the streets of Tehran nightly in the run-up to Friday’s vote, might react to an Ahmadinejad victory. U.S. strategic intelligence group Stratfor called the situation “potentially explosive,” with a considerable risk of unrest.

The Guardian is liveblogging the goings on in Iran surrounding the election, as is the “Tehran Bureau” blog.

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