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26 Arrested Over Iran Election

June 24, 2005|From Reuters

TEHRAN — A day before an unpredictable presidential runoff election, Iran said Thursday that it had arrested 26 people, including at least one military figure, for suspected violations in the first round of voting.

The arrests appeared to lend credence to reformist charges of fraud in the inconclusive June 17 vote.

The reformists question a late surge in support that took hard-line Tehran Mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad into Friday's runoff. The mayor, 48, faces former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, 70, who casts himself as a liberal.

President Mohammad Khatami voiced fresh concern about the alleged irregularities.

"It has been heard that some have attempted to influence people

Citing an Interior Ministry statement, the official IRNA news agency said 104 electoral violations had been recorded, 44 of which involved military personnel. Of the 26 people arrested, one was a "prominent military figure" accused of "delivering speeches against a candidate and destroying the image of the Islamic system," IRNA said.

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