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Iran leader endorses Ahmadinejad but rivals absent

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Farhad Pouladi
Monday, August 3, 2009

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday formally endorsed hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president for a new four-year term amid intense political turmoil in the Islamic republic.

But in a sign of the escalating feud between rival factions over Ahmadinejad’s hotly disputed re-election, key opposition leaders were absent from the ceremony, state television said.

Khamenei praised Ahmadinejad as he confirmed him in office and hailed the “unprecedented” vote that returned him to power.

“The unprecedented and decisive vote of the people for the elected and respected president is an endorsement of the ninth government’s four-year record,” Khamenei said in a televised address.

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This article was posted: Monday, August 3, 2009 at 3:18 am

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