Iran General NewsRice slams Iran vote

Rice slams Iran vote

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AFP: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Sunday slammed the presidential election in Iran as failing to be a legitimate exercise in democracy. Rice criticized the election, saying it “took place with an unelected few having decided who could run, with thousands of people having been disqualified, with women having been disqualified altogether.” AFP

WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Sunday slammed the presidential election in Iran as failing to be a legitimate exercise in democracy.

Rice criticized the election, saying it “took place with an unelected few having decided who could run, with thousands of people having been disqualified, with women having been disqualified altogether.”

“I find it hard to see how this election could certainly contribute to the sense of legitimacy of the Iranian government, and it certainly is out of step with the way that elections are being held in the region,” she told ABC television Sunday.

Tehran’s ultra-conservative mayor Mahmood Ahmadinejad and moderate cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani were the top two finishers in the first round of voting and will face off in a run-off on Friday. Iranian reformists have said the vote was rigged.

“I just don’t see the Iranian elections as being a serious attempt to move Iran closer to a democratic future,” said Rice, who spoke from Jerusalem during her first major Middle East trip as the chief US diplomat.

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