ISU Professor Questions Iran's Election

By Denise Jackson

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July 15, 2010 Updated Jun 18, 2009 at 12:57 PM CDT

Violence has escalated in the mass protests over the presidential election in Iran. One person was killed and others were wounded in a second day of unrest.

Illinois State University Political Science Chair Dr. Ali Riaz says he was not surprised by the outcome of the election, but he has lots of questions about how the results were released to voters.

Supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi filled the streets following the announcement of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's 66–percent landslide victory Friday.

Dr. Ali Riaz says the Iranian government changed the process for releasing election results.

'What happened this time, they put out the results by millions, the first million, two million, not by the regions. If we had seen the region by region result then we could have easily seen say for example Mousavi has some support in urban areas, how did that turn out?" said Riaz.

Dr. Riaz says voters should be given some explanation for how the election results were tallied and released. He also questions why the changes were done during this election when there was such a big interest in the race.

Riaz says despite possible irregularities the United States must be careful about rejecting the election. State Department official says the administration is alarmed by the situation.

"I think that there has been doubt cast on the outcome of the elections. We see the real desire of the Iranian people to express themselves, to be involved in the political process, and that right needs to be respected," said Riaz.

U.S. officials would not say much about the security crack down on protestors.

The Guardian Council, has been asked by Iran's religious leader to examine claims of election irregularities.

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