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George Washington University student Reza Rad said he was trying to be optimistic that the protests would advance the cause of democracy in Iran but said he was cautious and worried at the same time.

“I think that Iranians are so desperate for change that they won’t realize what the change they’re going towards is,” he said.

While most of those protesting last week demanded a fair recount of votes or a new election, a minority stood separately and chanted “Death to the Islamic republic.”

Mr. Gharehdaghi said that he would not expect big changes if Mr. Mousavi became president but that Iranians’ votes should be respected.

“This won’t be a different Iran,” he said. “I don’t expect the regime to change, and I don’t expect anything major to change. I’m just glad people are seeing the power they have.”

An Iranian official who spoke on the condition that he not be named responded to the chants of “Where is my vote?” by saying, “They’re in Iran. We send them there immediately after we count them.”

Iran encouraged participation in the June 12 election by Iranian passport holders abroad, setting up 304 voting stations in 130 countries outside of Iran, including the United States, Turkey, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.