"Our historic duty is to continue the protests to defend the rights of the people... and prevent the blood spilled by hundreds of thousands of martyrs from leading to a police state."

Iran's Guardian Council on Monday officially confirmed the results of the presidential election and Ahmadinejad's victory, following a partial recount of votes.

'Rigged' vote

In video

Al Jazeera allowed back on Tehran's streets

The council agreed to the partial recount after defeated candidates alleged that Ahmadinejad's declared victory was due to "rigged" voting.

State television on Monday said that Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, the council's secretary, had presented Sadegh Mahsouli, the minister of the interior, with a letter saying it had approved the election after a recount of 10 per cent of the ballots.

But Mousavi said the Guardian Council had "closed its eyes to numerous irregularities".

"It is not too late and it is still possible to restore the people's trust ... the safety of our system depends on doing this," he said, addressing the Guardian Council.

The disputed vote unleashed the worst unrest seen in Iran since the 1979 revolution, sparking violent clashes between protesters and police and resulting in the deaths of at least 20 people.

In depth

The latest on Iran's post-election unrest

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Ismail Ahmadi-Moghaddam, Iran's police chief, said more than 1,000 people were arrested in the wave of protests.

"No policeman was killed in the Tehran riots but 20 rioters were killed," the Iranian news agency, Fars, quoted him as saying.

"Police arrested 1,032 people in the recent riots. Many have been released and the rest are being prosecuted in Tehran's public and revolutionary courts."

Britons released

While calm has returned to Tehran's streets,  the country continues to be embroiled in diplomatic spats.

European diplomatic sources said on Wednesday that EU members were considering a proposal from Britain to recall all their ambassadors from Iran in protest at the detention of its Tehran embassy employees.

The threat was made as Britain said that two more employees from its embassy had been released.

Iran's state-run Press TV said just one of the nine local staff members detained was still in custody.

Iranian authorities released five British embassy employees on Monday.

Relations between the countries have been strained since Tehran accused Western powers - mainly Britain and the US - of inciting street protests and violence following the election.

Britain has denied the accusations.