Election Protests Continue in Streets of Iran

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WASHINGTON - For the fourth day in a row, Iranians flooded their streets demanding another election of the country's president.

Thousands of pro-reform protesters marched Tuesday after officials said there would be a recount of disputed ballots from the election.  Many say the election was rigged in favor of incumbent president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iran authorities are trying to stop foreign journalists from reporting on the protests.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has again expressed his "deep concerns" about the unrest, but says the U.S. should not be seen by the world as "meddling" in the issue.

After first dismissing allegations that the election was rigged, Iran's supreme religious leader authorized a recount.

The decision coincides with the deaths of at least seven protesters in a shooting Monday night in Tehran's Azadi Square.

Iran's state radio confirmed the deaths, reporting that shots were fired when several people at an "unauthorized gathering" ... "tried to attack a military location."

The report gave no other details.

More than 100,000 people have been marching in the streets of the capital protesting last Friday's voting, which they say was rigged to favor Ahmadinejad.

They support the so-called moderate opposition leader, Hossein Mousavi -- whose landslide defeat sparked the worst violence in Tehran in 10 years.

"I am deeply troubled by the violence that I've been seeing on television," President Barack Obama said.

While he still believes in tough diplomacy in dealing with Iran, President Obama said the elections review should be done without any bloodshed and the freedom of people to express their views.

"And what I would say to those people who put so much hope and energy and optimism into the political process, I would say to them that the world is watching and inspired by their participation, regardless of what the ultimate outcome of the election was," Obama said.

Iran's 12-member guardian council -- closely allied with supreme religious leader Ayatollah Khamenei -- says it will conduct a limited recount that only applies to sites where allegations of voting irregularities have been lodged.

Meanwhile, analysts are raising this question, how can you, within a matter of hours, declare the winner of an election counting 40 million handwritten paper ballots? The speed of the vote count and lack of data being released only raises doubt and gives protesters fuel to keep demonstrating.

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CBN News
John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Anchor

John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at Facebook.com/John.V.Jessup.