Tehran has rejected US criticism of Iran's presidential election last weekend, which America's Department of State described as "pretty manufactured" suggesting the result was pre-determined. Such statements could be described as "meddling" and violate international laws, Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei stated.
"Washington does not have the authority to express views on elections in other countries," Ali Rabiei said.
The response from Tehran comes in the wake of a comment from Department of State spokesman, Ned Price, that Iran's presidential election was "not a free and fair election process". He noted, however, that Washington's policy to the Islamic Republic is based on American interests rather than the personality of the Iranian president and hence the outcome of the election would not change it.
Several western media outlets highlighted the "low" turnout in the election compared with previous ones. Some 48.78 percent of eligible voters cast their ballot on 18 June as opposed to 73.3 percent in 2017 and similar volumes in earlier elections. At the same time, such numbers are not unheard of in Iran, which saw a turnout of about 50 percent in three presidential elections between 1985 and 1993.
Elections in Iran are conducted on a competitive basis, although the Guardian Council - an election-vetting body - has the power of turning down certain candidates. At the same time, Ebrahim Raisi, whose election Washington considers as pre-determined, lost the presidential race in the past to the outgoing moderate Hassan Rouhani.
The US stopped short of criticising or condemning the election of Raisi, who is a known anti-West hardliner, as the two countries are involved in diplomatic efforts to restore the Iran nuclear deal. Both sides pledged to continue talks regardless of the upcoming change of the Iranian government, which is due in August 2021.