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Ahmadinejad's Inauguration

Ahmadinejad's Inauguration

President Ahmadinejad was sworn in for his second term by the country’s parliament today.  Once again the ceremony had notable absentees.  The New York Times reported that all but 13 of the 70 lawmakers forming a reformist bloc in Parliament were absent from the inauguration, and some of those who did attend walked out as Ahmadinejad began to speak.  It was again very apparent that the formalization of Ahmadinejad’s reelection will not diminish the intensity of protests by the reformist.  In fact Iranian expert Farideh Farhi says there is now “the possibility of increased radicalism among the population.” As discussed in this CFR interview:

Farhi points to an evolution in protest slogans, for example, that started with calls for Ahmadinejad’s removal and now make references to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as a “killer.” She says the weekend trials of more than one hundred people who called the election a fraud indicate both the rigidity and confusion of the regime. Given the increasing polarization of the political elite, she expresses doubts about the country’s ability to achieve reconciliation. Farhi says it is wise for the United States to stay back and let events develop at their own pace in Iran.

It looks like the United States is doing just that:

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House spokesman Robert Gibbs was asked Tuesday if the White House recognized Ahmadinejad as the country’s legitimate president.  “He’s the elected leader” was Gibbs’ response.

Photo taken from the New York Times.



Sahar Zubairy

Sahar Zubairy recently graduated from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas- Austin with Masters in Global Policy Studies. She graduated from Texas A&M University with Phi Beta Kappa honors in May 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. In Summer 2008, she was the Southwest Asia/Gulf Intern at the Henry L. Stimson Center, where she researched Iran and the Persian Gulf. She was also a member of a research team that helped develop a website investigating the possible effects of closure of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf by Iran.