France summons Iranian ambassador over vote
France summoned the Iranian ambassador to hear its concerns over disputed elections won by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.Paris – France on Monday summoned the Iranian ambassador to hear its concerns over disputed elections won by hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the foreign ministry said.
"France, like its European partners, is awaiting clear answers to the doubts raised over irregularities in the vote," said ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier.
Ahmadinejad's main rival, Mir Hossein Mousavi, has described Friday's presidential election as a vote-rigged "charade" and called for the results to be cancelled to pave the way for new polls.
Up to 170 people have been detained including politicians in protests over the weekend and riot police have clashed with demonstrators in Tehran who set fire to bins and vehicles.
"We hope that the ambassador will provide explanations for these events in Iran and will hear our concerns," said the spokesman.
"France condemns these numbers of arrests, notably those of political figures, since Saturday and is demanding the release of those detained."
The foreign ministry noted that Iran's election campaign was marked by a healthy democratic debate and the participation of civil society and condemned the "brutal repression of peaceful demonstrations".
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier earlier said Tehran's ambassador in Berlin had been summoned in protest at the police action against demonstrators.
"The actions of the Iranian security forces are completely unacceptable," he said on public television.
European Union foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg also cast doubt over the outcome of the vote and called on the security forces to halt their crackdown on the opposition.
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said he was "concerned by the latest images and news that arrived from Tehran. I hope very much that at the end of the day the will of the people will be respected."
AFP / Expatica