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Ahmadinejad hails controversial victory, despite protests

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The regime's swift effort to declare Mr. Ahmadinejad the victor, with the supreme religious leader Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei accepting the results as "divine" after one day instead of the customary three, means they "want to wrap it up quickly," says the analyst, who spoke on condition of anonymity for security reasons.

"People talk about a coup d'etat," said a Tehran engineer of the result. "If [Ahmadinejad] really won the vote, why are there so many riots? Why are there so many riot police? Why are they on such a high alert?"

Yet Ahmadinejad said on Sunday the result was unassailable. "Nearly 40 million people took part in a totally free election," which he called a the "most glorious voting in recent history."

Iranians, he said, had been subjected to "extensive psychological warfare" by foreign media, who mistook the mass outpouring of support for the moderate Mousavi in the streets before the vote as a sign that Ahmadinejad would lose — a result predicted by a number of polls, including reportedly a secret one conducted by the government.

Ahmadinejad: protests 'not important'

Ahmadinejad said Iranians were not fooled, and the "epic achievement" of the vote "delivered a mighty blow" against the West.

He dismissed the post-election violence that erupted across Tehran with burning barricades and beatings by security forces as "not important" and said the "government will be patient.

"Some believed they would win, and then they got angry," Ahmadinejad said. "It has no legal credibility. It is like the passions after a football match.... The margin between my votes and the others is too much and no one can question it."

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