Iranian Americans protest Iran election results

2009-06-15 14:26 BJT

Special Report: Iran presidential election 09 |

LOS ANGELES, June 14 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of protestors, including students on visas from Iran and Iranian Americans, gathered in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday to protest against what they called a rigged presidential election in Iran.

Protesters wore green T-shirts and bandanas and waved red, green and white Iranian flags in support of Hossein Mousavi, Iran's former prime minister who rivaled Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the election.

"Where are our votes, where are our votes?" the protestors chanted.

The crowd gathered at the Federal Building, across the street from the Los Angeles National Cemetery and around the corner from the Little Tehran neighborhood which has become the retail center of the large population of Iranians in Los Angeles.

Iran announced Saturday that Ahmadinejad was re-elected president with 63 percent of the vote, defeating Mousavi and other candidates considered more pro-Western.

The margin of victory was greeted with skepticism and protests in the Islamic state and throughout the world, according to media reports.

"There were numerous polls before the election," said a Los Angeles protester who declined to give his last name. "Even a lot of governmental polls, pre-election polls, indicated Ahmadinejad had less than 20 percent of the vote -- at most. And Mousavi had 60 to 80 percent of the vote."

"The way they did the counting, (the government) replaced all the observers and brought in their own observers," he said. "They took boxes of polls and counted them in a secret room. The best evidence (of fraud) is the poll, the people -- the people standing in the lines (to vote)."

The protest was peaceful and no arrests were reported.

Similar demonstrations were also held on Sunday in Boston, San Francisco, New York, Washington D.C., London, Paris, Florence and Lisbon.

It is reported that Ahmadinejad dismissed the street protests in Iran as "not important." He said Friday's vote was "real and free" and insisted the results showing his landslide victory were fair and legitimate.

Editor: Zhang Yun | Source: Xinhua