Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, announced on June 24 to state-run Press TV that he would not yield to pressure generated by his political opponents over the disputed June 12 presidential election that resulted in the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Bloomberg News reported his statement: "The Islamic establishment and people will never give in to forceful demands in regard to the election. The violation of the election will lead to dictatorship."
In the wake of failed “land reform” policies, Hugo Chavez’ socialist government is now aiming to invalidate pharmaceutical patents that his commerce minister calls a “barrier to production.” The plan would allow domestic drug makers to produce the medicines under a license from the government. But critics of the move warn that it will likely lead to shortages and less foreign investment, problems that have already begun to plague the nation as it continues its attacks on the private sector.
Demonstrators protesting what they charge was a rigged election to maintain Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's hold on the presidency continued to occupy the streets of Tehran on June 22, as government riot police attempted to quell the protests. At least 457 people were detained during street demonstrations on June 20 and at least 13 people died during clashes that sometimes turned violent.