Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Iran endorses Mugabe’s reelection


Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe received the first foreign endorsement of his rule on Tuesday when long-time ally Iran said it respected the outcome of Zimbabwe’s one-man presidential election held last Friday.

As the rest of the world criticised Mugabe’s reelection, Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Hosseini said his government respects the outcome as the will of the Zimbabwean people.

"We hope that these results are in the interest of the independence and the development of Zimbabwe," he said.

Mugabe was sworn into office for a sixth term after being declared the winner of Friday’s election runoff in a race boycotted by opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai because of deadly violence and voter intimidation.

Iran has been one of the few countries outside Africa to have strong relations with Mugabe’s Zimbabwe in recent years.

The Zimbabwe elections are dominating the agenda at the ongoing African Union summit in Egypt, with Mugabe vowing he would silence his critics once and for all.

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