Events"Did you hear that Iranian people said loud and clear that they rejected the religious dictatorship?" Maryam Rajavi said.
PARIS, June 18 (Reuters) – An exiled Iranian opposition leader dismissed Iran’s presidential election as a sham on Saturday and urged foreign leaders not to recognise the vote. Centrist cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani faces a run-off against hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after Friday’s election in which no candidate secured outright victory and turnout was 62 percent, an Iranian Interior Ministry source said in Tehran.
Maryam Rajavi, self-styled president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the political wing of the People’s Mujahideen guerrilla movement, denounced the election at a rally attended by several thousand people near Paris.
"Did you hear that Iranian people said loud and clear that they rejected the religious dictatorship?" she said.
"On behalf of the Iranian people and Resistance (NCRI), we call on governments around the world not to recognise the mullahs’ illegitimate elections. We want them to join our people in their demand for democratic change in Iran."
Despite the turnout figure, Rajavi said calls for a boycott of the election had been widely heeded.
"Those who would assume power as a result of this election do not represent the Iranian people," she said. "Appeasing this regime runs counter to the highest interests of the Iranian people and to peace and stability in the Middle East."
The NCRI has accused European leaders of appeasing Tehran to try to broker a deal to halt Iran’s nuclear programme — which Iran says is for civilian purposes but Washington and the NCRI say is intended to develop atomic weapons.
U.S. President George W. Bush said the election "ignores the basic requirements of democracy".
The People’s Mujahideen, an armed opposition movement, is listed as a terrorist group by the United States.