Farhad Pouladi and Aresu Eqbali
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was sworn in for a second term on Wednesday, vowing more defiance of the West at a ceremony boycotted by his rivals, as riot police broke up opposition protests.
The 52-year-old hardliner took the oath of office for another four years at a ceremony in parliament after his landslide election victory in June that triggered the worst turmoil in the Islamic republic’s history.
In a speech outlining his plans for the future, Ahmadinejad said he would continue to resist “oppressive powers” and hailed his election as a sign of major change in Iran.
But prominent opposition leaders were absent from the ceremony, and outside a force of about 1,000 riot police and Basij volunteer Islamic militiamen used pepper gas on demonstrators who claim his election was rigged, witnesses said.