Ayatollah Won't Overturn Ahmadinejad's Victory

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2009 12:03 PM CDT
Iranian riot police clear away the remains of burning debris.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – This might seal it: Iran supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei denied challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi’s request to overturn the results of the presidential election, the Guardian reports. Khamenei, perhaps dashing Mousavi's only chance to upend an outcome the challenger claims was rigged, called Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s win a “divine assessment.” Hundreds of Mousavi protesters, meanwhile, clashed with riot police in the streets of Tehran.

The disturbances—youths set tires ablaze and formed human chains—are the most serious in Iran since a student uprising in 1999, says the AP. Mousavi counseled restraint even as he railed against “governance of lies and dictatorship,” adding that “people won't respect those who take power through fraud.” The Revolutionary Guard said that it would put down any “revolution” by Mousavi supporters, dubbed the “green movement.” Iran is still under a widespread communications blackout. (Read more Mir Hossein Mousavi stories.)