Ahmadinejad Takes Oath; Flays Western Nations

Amid dispute over Iran’s presidential elections, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been administered oath of office for second consecutive term, hailing his re-election as “the start of major change in Iran and in the world”.

After swearing-in before the Iranian parliament in Tehran on Wednesday, Ahmadinejad said: “We will resist oppressors and try to correct the global discriminatory mechanisms in order to benefit all the nations of the world.”

Ahmadinejad flayed Western nations including the US, Britain, Italy, Germany and France that had refused to offer formal congratulations on his re-election.

“We heard that some of the Western leaders had decided to recognise but not congratulate the new government … well, no one in Iran is waiting for your messages,” he said.

Mehrdad Khonsair, a former Iranian diplomat was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera: “He feels that this snub [from Western leaders] is such that he’s had to respond … it shows obvious disappointment.

“He essentially pointed out that negotiation with him in the future is going to be difficult.”

On Tuesday, Iranian reformist and former presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi had vowed that protests against the re-election of Ahmadinejad will continue.  Karroubi also told the Spanish newspaper El Pais that he and leading opposition figure Mir Hossein Mousavi will never work with the Ahmadinejad government.

In the meanwhile, the US, showing a change in its stand towards disputed re-election of Ahmadinejad, said that the White House recognizes that Ahmadinejad is elected leader of the Islamist nation.

Robert Gibbs, the White House Press Secretary, said that he does not expect President Obama to send a letter of congratulation to Ahmadinejad but, on a query if the US recognizes the election, he said that he is an “elected leader”.

“Look, I think we have said throughout this that this was a decision and a debate that was ongoing in Iran by Iranians. That they were going to choose their leadership,” Gibbs told reporters at his daily press briefing

“The President has discussed our goals for reaching out in order to ensure that they don’t develop a nuclear weapons program. Those continue to be our goals,” he said.

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