At a news conference Monday, Hassan Qashqavi, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, called the turnout a «brilliant gem which is shining on the peak of dignity of the Iranian nation.»

He accused unidentified western powers and news organizations, which are operating under extremely tight official restrictions, of spreading unacceptable «anarchy and vandalism.» But, he said, the outcome of the vote would not be changed. «We will not allow western media to turn this gem into a worthless stone,» he said.

Mr. Qashqavi drew comparisons with American election results.

Iranian Rally Is Dispersed as Voting Errors Are Admitted