Iran’s Leader Elected for a Second Term

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been formally endorsed as the leader of Iran for a second term; the decision comes amidst some disagreement as some claim that his re-election was fraudulant.

Several of the President’s most prominent opponents stayed away from the ceremony on Monday in protest of the decision for him to be re-elected, and there have been hints that they will not be present at the inauguration ceremony on Wednesday either. Currently in Beirut, Lebonan, there is a mass trial of over 100 alleged dissidents taking place. The day before the event, a television broadcast showing a segment of the trial had been aired causing provocation to the President’s opponents.

The ceremony was conducted by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in Tehran. It was a prerequisite for the President’s inauguration on Wednesday. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had been openly supportive of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s landslide election victory, which took place on 12th June this year. Opposition supporters maintain that the election was rigged, however the Guardian Council have ruled the vote as fair; they are the main legislative body that govern over the elections.

Other prominent figures who chose to boycott the ceremony on Monday were former Presidents of Iran, Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammed Khatami, along with President Ahmadinejad’s main competitor, Mir Hussein Moussavi.

There are concerns that confessions given during the mass trial were obtained under duress and torture. Muhammad Ali Abtahi was one of the men being tried; he is former vice President and an avid blogger. He was quoted as confessing that the opposition’s claims of a “stolen election” wee incorrect and false, and he said that the leaders of the opposition had conspired to misrepresent the vote prior to the election. This statement could potentially lead to the arrest of opposition leaders.

Street demonstrations continue to take place, and human rights groups insist that this confession was forced under unfair conditions. The confession was immediately denounced by members of the defendants families, who gathered at the house of Muhammad Ali Abtahi in Tehran. Mr Abtahi’s wife also dismissed his confession in a court hearing.

There are mixed opinions from escorts who are working in the UK having relocated from Iran. At the moment, opinions are still divided.