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13 Jun, 2009 21:17

Ahmadinejad wins landslide victory

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei has praised Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's landslide victory in the country’s presidential election.

Ahmadinejad re-elected with two thirds of the vote with a record turnout of 85%.

Analysts say the sitting president’s agenda appealed to many voters.

“Ahmadinejad is ready to offer secure government bonds to every Iranian citizen which will entitle them to a certain percentage of revenues from every ton of Iranian oil sold. As a second step he is ready to amend a labor code so that the government will pay salaries to housewives who stay at home and raise children. Moreover, I think young people will have more freedom and opportunities for self fulfillment. Many Iranians do not like that he is so tough in his foreign policy. He will probably be softer and restrain from tough rhetoric, he will not agitate the West and question Western values. He will establish new relations with Western countries and the US in particular,” Iranian expert Rardzhab Safarov said.

Supporters of Ahmadinejad's main challenger, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, clashed with police as they protested against the outcome of the poll.

On his Website, Mousavi condemned what he called the manipulation of election results and a government of lies and a dictatorship.

Mousavi was viewed at home and abroad as a more moderate candidate, but analysts say Washington will have little choice but to work with Iran, even with Ahmadinejad still in power.

“The United States would like to build a relationship with Iran and will try to strengthen its relations with Iran as much as possible,” Leonid Gusev from the Moscow State University of International Relations said.

“The U.S. would like to use the Iranian regime in order to pacify the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan. Last year Ahmadinejad did make a visit to Iraq and had a meeting with the Iraqi president, by the way, America and other western countries had no objections to this,” Gusev said.