[JURIST] Iran's Guardian Council of the Constitution [official website, in Persian] on Monday certified [press release, in Persian] the results of the controversial June 12 presidential election [BBC backgrounder], officially sanctioning the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. The certification [BBC report] comes a week after the Council rejected [BBC report] protesters' requests to abandon the results and start over after a partial recount [JURIST report] ordered by the country's spiritual leader and highest authority, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei [official profile; BBC profile], showed no irregularities in Ahmadinejad's overwhelming victory. The investigation concluded that any minor inconsistencies would not have resulted in victory for reform candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi [IranTracker profile]. Monday also marks the end of the period declared [JURIST report] by Khamenei during which opposition candidates could submit additional complaints about the election.
Supporters of Mousavi and other opposition candidates protested in Tehran and elsewhere after Ahmadinejad's victory, reportedly resulting in at least 17 deaths and hundreds of arrests [JURIST report]. Authorities stated that those arrested would be dealt with [Reuters report] by the court system. Human rights groups have viewed the arrests as political repression [JURIST report], saying that Iranian forces are using the protests to "engage in what appears to be a major purge of reform-oriented individuals." Amnesty International [advocacy website] called for authorities to respect and nurture debate Thursday, stressing [press release] that "healthy debate on issues of fundamental importance to peoples' lives" informs, rather than threatens, policy makers."