The Guardian Council, the country’s top legislative body, said that there was no sign of serious electoral fraud in the June 12 vote — despite conceding yesterday that in 50 Iranian cities more than 100 per cent of the electorate was officially recorded as turning out to vote.

“Fortunately we have witnessed no major irregularites during the country’s recent presidential election and therefore there is no reason to annul the election,” said Abbasali Kadkhodai, a council spokesman, in remarks reported on Iran state television this morning.

Most of the 646 complaints lodged by losing candidates were about alleged irregularities before the election and not during and after the vote, Mr Kadkhodai said.