US says low Iran election turnout another sign of ‘discontent’

US says low Iran election turnout another sign of 'discontent'
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The United States said Monday that the low turnout in Iran’s election came as no surprise and was a new sign of discontent in the cleric-run state.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that there’s discontent about the regime’s rule,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters.

“We did not assess that these elections would be free and fair, and I believe that many Iranian voters would assess that the elections would not be free and fair, and so it wouldn’t surprise me if in that regard they chose not to participate,” he said.

Election authorities said Monday that conservatives and ultra-conservatives secured a large majority in parliamentary¬†elections — in which many hopefuls including moderates and reformists were disqualified from running.

Authorities said turnout was 41 percent, the lowest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution toppled the pro-Western shah.

Miller said that the United States could not offer its own assessment but added: “Iranian authorities’ claims about turnout have generally been unreliable.”


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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