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Hardline Mayor of Tehran Is Iran's New President


Iranian government officials have confirmed that the mayor of Tehran, Islamic hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, won an overwhelming victory in Iran's presidential election.

In his first public statement today-Saturday, President-elect Ahmadinejad called for national unity, and said he aims to make Iran a "modern, advanced and Islamic" role model for the world.

Final results show he won 62 percent of the vote in Friday's runoff election, against 36 percent for former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Turnout was just below 60% slightly less than the 63% during the first round of balloting.

Mr. Ahmadinejad, known as an ultraconservative on religious issues, is a veteran of Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution. He has pledged to defend the country's nuclear program in negotiations with the West, and has promised to fight corruption and
share the nation's oil wealth more widely.

Some voters expressed concern that Mr. Ahmadinejad could turn back many social reforms enacted during the eight-year administration of outgoing President Mohammad Khatami.

Information for this report is provided by Reuters and AFP.

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