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Thursday, June 18

McCully urges restraint as Iranians protest poll result

Foreign Minister Murray McCully the other day urged Iranian authorities to show restraint as post-election protests escalate in the capital, Tehran.

"The New Zealand government is concerned at the reports coming out of Iran of mounting violence, and calls on all involved to help restore calm," Mr McCully said."Reports are still sketchy, but the allegations of government security forces shooting at unarmed protesters are particularly alarming."Such use of force will only deepen the anger being expressed by many Iranians over whether President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's claim to victory is an accurate reflection of the vote on June 12.

"New Zealand shares the view of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and several European Union leaders, that the election process needs to be carefully explained," Mr McCully said.