‘These pictures show two things very clearly: 1) that a whole lot of the ballots that are being recounted are fresh, crisp, unfolded sheets – which makes no sense, given that people typically had to fold these sheets before they can slip them into the ballot boxes, and 2) that the handwriting on so many of the sheets which are votes for ‘Ahmadinejad’ are the same handwriting (and very clearly so).’

The Iranian president had been due to appear at an African summit today but cancelled at the last minute.

His spokesman gave no reason for Ahmadinejad’s decision not to attend.