Iran's Parliament Speaker criticizes Guardian Council

Iran Materials 21 June 2009 07:28 (UTC +04:00)

Iran's Parliament (Majlis) Speaker Ali Larijani suggests that some of the members in the Guardian Council have sided with a certain candidate in the June 12 presidential election, Press TV reported.

Speaking live on the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) Channel 2 on Saturday, the speaker said that "a majority of people are of the opinion that the actual election results are different than what was officially announced."

"The opinion of this majority should be respected and a line should be drawn between them and rioters and miscreants," he was quoted as saying by Khabaronline - a website affiliated with him.

He was referring to rallies that have been held on a daily basis in Iran, since the announcement of presidential election results last Friday, in which incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected with almost two thirds of the vote.

The president's main rival Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who according to the Interior Ministry has lost to Ahmadinejad even in the East-Azerbaijan province where he hails from, cried foul and described the election as a 'charade' -- a charge the president and his interior minister have denied.

Mousavi -- Iran's last prime minister -- has as a result called on the Guardian Council, the body that supervises the electoral process, to nullify Friday's vote and hold the election anew.

Larijani, however, believes that the Iranian people has lost its trust in the country's legal system. "Although the Guardian Council is made up of religious individuals I wish certain members would not side with a certain presidential candidate."

"The Guardian Council should use every possible means to build trust and convince the protesters that their complaints will be thoroughly looked into," the parliament speaker added.

Larijani who, was formerly in charge of IRIB, criticized the organization, saying that "the IRIB should not act in a way that provokes the nation."

The authorities should provide an atmosphere in which people feel free to express their opinion, he concluded.