Iran says U.S. criticism of election is meddling

22 June, 2021: Iran accused the United States on Tuesday of interference for saying its presidential election on Friday was neither free or fair, Iranian state media reported.

A U.S. State Department spokesman said on Monday the United States viewed the process that made Ebrahim Raisi Iran’s president-elect as “pretty manufactured”, reiterating the U.S. view that the election was neither free nor fair.

“We consider this statement as an interference in our domestic affairs in violation of international law and reject it,” Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabie was quoted as saying by state media. “The US government is not in a position to express its views on the electoral process in Iran or any other country,” Rabie said.

Raisi, a hardline judge who is under U.S. sanctions over human rights abuses, secured victory as expected on Saturday in Iran’s presidential election after a contest marked by voter apathy over economic hardships and political restrictions.

More than half of eligible voters were too dissatisfied to vote or appeared to have heeded calls by dissidents at home and abroad to boycott the election. A deterrent for many pro-reform voters was a lack of choice, after a hardline election body barred prominent moderates and conservatives from running.

More than half of eligible voters were dissatisfied with the turnout or apparently called for a boycott of the election by opponents at home and abroad. Many reformist voters lacked a choice after a hard-line electoral body barred moderates and conservatives from campaigning.

The turnout in the four-member race was a record 48.88 percent and there were 3.7 million illegal ballots that were thought to be mostly blank or protest votes.

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