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MPs snub Ahmadinejad poll party
Tehran, Jun 25 (Agencies):
Published on 25 Jun. 2009 11:01 PM IST
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More than 100 MPs appear to have snubbed an invitation to celebrate Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's election win, local press reports say. All 290 MPs were invited to the victory party on Wednesday night but 105 did not turn up, the reports say. A BBC correspondent says the move is a sign of the deep split at the top of Iran after disputed presidential polls. Meanwhile, Mr Ahmadinejad has told the US not to interfere in Iranian politics, the Fars news agency reports. "I hope you [US President Barack Obama] will avoid interfering in Iran's affairs and express regret in a way that the Iranian people are informed of it," he was quoted as saying. President Obama on Tuesday said he strongly condemned the "unjust" violence used on protesters. Hundreds of opposition protesters and activists are believed to have been taken into custody and at least 17 people have died in the unrest that followed the 12 June election. Severe reporting restrictions imposed on foreign media in Iran mean the BBC cannot verify the reports. About 50 MPs in the Iranian parliament are reformist and would not have been expected to attend Mr Ahmadinejad's party. But the high number of other MPs who stayed away is another indication that the disputed election has split the nation, says the BBC's Jeremy Bowen in Tehran. The opposition has vowed to continue with its legal challenges over the election result, which saw Mr Ahamadinejad declared an easy winner. Mr Mousavi, his nearest rival, alleges the election was rigged and wants a re-run. But time and options are running out for the opposition, says our correspondent. The Guardian Council, which supervises elections, is expected to follow the line laid down by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and say the result will stand, our correspondent adds. Ayatollah Khamenei said again on Wednesday he would "not yield" over the election result. Hours later, riot police were reported to have clashed again with demonstrators who defied government decrees to stop the street protests. Witnesses said they saw police beat protesters with batons, fire tear gas and shoot into the air to disperse the crowds in central Tehran. But Wednesday's protest was smaller than on previous days amid an increasingly heavy security presence on the streets. Reformist election candidate Mehdi Karoubi on Thursday called off a planned ceremony to mourn those killed in the protests, saying he had been unable to get permission for it. Ahmadinejad tells Obama not to interfere in Iran Tehran, Jun 25 (DPA): Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Thursday called on his US counterpart Barack Obama not to interfere in Iran's internal affairs following unrest over alleged election fraud, the state-run Fars news agency reported. The news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying that Obama should stop interfering and indirectly demanded an apology from the US president for meddling. Obama should show he regretted "what he has said so that also the Iranian people become aware of it," Ahmadinejad said. He also called on Obama not to repeat the policies of his predecessor George W Bush towards Iran.

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