U.N. says Ban didn’t congratulate Iran’s Ahmadinejad

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations said on Wednesday that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon did not congratulate Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his contested re-election, reversing a previous statement.

Asked on Tuesday if Ban had sent a congratulatory letter to Ahmadinejad, U.N. spokeswoman Marie Okabe said “yes.” But when reporters asked her for details on Wednesday, she said it could not be construed in any way as congratulating Ahmadinejad.

“It is not accurate to refer to this as a congratulatory letter,” she said, adding the United Nations would not release the contents of the letter.

Okabe said Ban’s letter “takes advantage of the occasion of the inauguration to express the hope that Iran and the United Nations will continue to cooperate closely in addressing regional and global issues.”

A spokesman for Iran’s U.N. mission could not be reached for comment.

The results of Iran’s June 12 election plunged the country into its biggest internal crisis since the 1979 Islamic revolution, exposed deepening divisions in its ruling elite and set off a wave of protests that left 26 people dead.

Western leaders, already upset by Ahmadinejad’s anti-… >>>

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