AFP: Iran's hardline Basij militia has written to UN secretary general Kofi Annan to ask if the Islamic republic can send observers to the US presidential election in November, a government newspaper said on Monday.
"By this symbolic request, we want to ridicule the so-called democratic slogans of the American leaders," a Basij official ... AFP

TEHRAN - Iran's hardline Basij militia has written to UN secretary general Kofi Annan to ask if the Islamic republic can send observers to the US presidential election in November, a government newspaper said on Monday.

"By this symbolic request, we want to ridicule the so-called democratic slogans of the American leaders," a Basij official, Said Toutunshian, told the Iran newspaper.

"We want to say to the whole world that the presence of observers from the Islamic republic of Iran, the most democratic regime in the world, is necessary to guarantee the smooth running of the American elections."

The Basij is a volunteer army attached to Iran's Revolutionary Guards, the Islamic republic's ideological army.

Predominantly Western groups frequently send observers to pass judgment on the "democratic status" of elections in other countries.

On Monday, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said in a statement that weekend legislative elections in Belarus fell "significantly short" of democratic standards.