Iran’s Supreme leader has endorsed the second term presidency of Mamoud Ahmadinejad at a ceremony senior political figures appeared to boycott. Iranian TV showed the moment Ayatollah Ali Khamenei inaugurated Ahmadinejad.
However, Iran’s pro-reform elite were not present at the event. Defeated presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavi and several high profile figures including former presidents Akba Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammed Khatami were not present. Mousavi claims June’s election was fraudulent and has said Iran’s new government is illegitimate. The ceremony came as the trials of pro-reform supporters accused of stirring unrest continued. Some 100 face acting against national security, a charge that can carry the death penalty. Leading reformers have denounced that as a show trial. Eyewitnesses say dozens of riot police were deployed in Tehran ahead of the swearing-in and there are reports of disturbances with opposition supporters in the capital. Despite Iran’s Supreme Leader giving his full support to Ahmadinejad the disputed poll has resulted in violent protests in which more than 20 people have been killed. The crisis has plunged Iran into its worst crisis since 1979 and exposed deep schisms within the political and clerical establishment.