Hard-Liner Wins Iran's Presidential Election

The winner of Iran's presidential runoff, whose landslide victory dealt a setback to reformers, said Saturday he seeks to create a "modern, advanced and Islamic" model for the world.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (search) made the comments in a taped statement broadcast on state-run radio. They appeared aimed at easing worries that his ultraconservative views would clash with Iran's attempts to expand its economy and international ties.

Ahmadinejad made no mention of any new policies regarding the social reforms opposed by some of his supporters.

Ahmadinejad won 61.6 percent of the vote while his more moderate rival, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani (search), received nearly 35.9 percent, according to final results announced Saturday on state television. The rest of the ballots were deemed invalid.

An estimated 26 million votes were cast, or nearly 55 percent of Iran's about 47 million eligible voters. In the first round last week, the turnout was close to 63 percent.

The victory gives conservatives control of Iran's two highest elected offices — the presidency and parliament — enabling the non-elected theocracy to rule with a freer hand.

Real power in Iran lies with the country's clerics and their supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (search), who can overrule elected officials. But reformers, who lost parliament in elections last year, had been hoping to retain some hand in government to preserve the greater social freedoms they've been able to win, such as looser dress codes, more mixing between the sexes and openings to the West.