Iran Faces Diplomatic Attack for Suppressing Demonstrators

Iran is drawing sever diplomatic criticism for cracking down on opposition protests who, like the US and Israel, doubt the validity of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s weekend re-election as president, saying it was ‘rigged’.

Germany’s foreign minister, upset with inhuman handling of protestors by the police on Saturday and Sunday, called Iran’s ambassador for a telling off on the issue.

“The actions of the Iranian security forces are completely unacceptable,” Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was seen as saying on public television.

On allegations of irregularities in election, Steinmeier asked Iran to clear them up “immediately and without delay”. His remarks correspond to similar doubts US Vice President Joe Biden raised in Washington.

“There is an awful lot of questions about how this election was run,” Biden said in an interview with NBC television.

“It sure looks like the way they are suppressing speech, the way they’re suppressing crowds, the way in which people are being treated, that there are some real doubts about that,” he said.

Identically, Israel’s Defence Minister Ehud Barak also expressed apprehensions about outcome of the election..

“I’m not sure if the results reflect the real will of the Iranian people,” he said.

US President Barack Obama, whose administration believes the Ahmadinejad regime in Tehran is trying to attain a nuclear bomb, said that Ahmadinejad’s re-election was “bad news”.

“The triumph of the extremists is bad news, as any kind of victory of extremists should be defined,” Barak told journalists at the Paris Air Show.

Besides, Mir Hossein Mousavi, a wartime prime minister who lost to Ahmadinejad in Friday’s vote, has lodged a formal appeal against the results’ “charade”.

But the interior ministry said that it would not allow Mousavi’s supporters to hold a nationwide rally on Monday, after two days of street protests and some of the worst rioting in Tehran in a decade.

“I am sorry that instead of openness there has been a somewhat brutal reaction,” French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said.

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