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State Media: Partial Vote Recount Planned in Iran


IRAN POL: Iranian state media report Iran's Guardian Council is prepared to recount disputed ballot boxes from Friday's presidential election. Tuesday's news of a partial recount follows three days of sometimes violent demonstrations in Tehran, as protesters denounce what they say is President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's fraudulent election victory.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had asked the powerful Guardian Council of Islamic clerics to investigate allegations of voter fraud. But defeated reformist presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi issued an even broader appeal -- he urged the Council to cancel the election results.
Mr. Ahmadinejad says the election was free and fair.

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IRAN ELECTION WORLD: U.S. President Barack Obama says he is troubled by the situation in Iran, particularly after gunmen killed a protester at a huge anti-government rally in Tehran Monday. Speaking to reporters at the White House (late Monday), Mr. Obama said it would be wrong to stay silent on the matter of post-election violence and allegations of irregularities during Friday's presidential vote. He also said it is up to Iran to determine its own leaders, and he added that any investigation into the election results must not end in bloodshed.

RUSSIA-SHANGHAI GROUP: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in Russia, on his first trip abroad since his bitterly disputed re-election. Mr. Ahmadinejad arrived in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg Tuesday for the final day of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization -- a group consisting of Russia, China, and four former-Soviet Central Asian states. He is expected to meet with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev on the sidelines of the summit.

NOKOR-NUCLEAR: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak will hold talks with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington Tuesday, with the North Korean nuclear threat expected to dominate the talks. Mr. Lee met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton late Monday about the North Korean situation. His spokesman (Lee Dong-kwan) tells South Korea's Yonhap news agency that Clinton said North Korea "must understand that bad behavior will always bring bad consequences." The spokesman said Mr. Lee expressed appreciation for Washington's support of Seoul's North Korea policy.

JAPAN-NORTH KOREA: Japan has banned all exports to North Korea in response to Pyongyang's latest nuclear and missile tests. Prime Minister Taro Aso's Cabinet approved the measure Tuesday, following new sanctions imposed against Pyongyang last week by the United Nations Security Council.

Japan already had bans on certain exports to North Korea, mainly luxury items such as caviar. Tuesday's decision extends the ban to such items as machinery, industrial goods and transport equipment. Japanese exports to North Korea stood at just over $8 million last year.

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