Tag Archives: mahmoud ahmadinejad

Ahmadinejad sworn in as Iran president amid crisis

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Ahmadinejad sworn in as Iran president amid crisis

TEHRAN, Iran — Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was sworn in Wednesday for a second term as president nearly two months after a disputed election triggered massive street protests, split Iran’s clerical leadership and brought attacks from within his own conservative camp over mistreatment of detained opposition activists.

In streets near parliament, security forces using batons dispersed hundreds of protesters who chanted “Death to the Dictator,” witnesses said. Some wore black T-shirts in a sign of grief and others wore green — the color of the opposition movement. A middle-aged woman carried a banner warning Iran’s leaders if they do not listen to people’s demands, they will face the same fate as Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was toppled in the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Key opposition leaders, moderate lawmakers and all three of Ahmadinejad’s election challengers boycotted the swearing in ceremony. State-run Press TV said more than 5,000 security forces deployed around the parliament building and police with sniffer dogs patrolled the area after the opposition called for demonstrations to coincide with the inauguration.

In his inaugural address, Ahmadinejad seemed to tone down his often-bellicose rhetoric and emphasized his plans to improve the faltering economy. He demanded that Iran be on an equal footing with other world powers and denounced foreign interference. The government has accused the U.S. and the West of backing street protests.

“We must play a key role in the management of the world,” Ahmadinejad said. “We will not remain silent. We will not tolerate disrespect, interference and insults,” he added. “I will spare no effort to safeguard the frontiers of Iran.”

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Iran opposition leaders request OK to commemorate dead

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Iran opposition leaders request OK to commemorate dead

Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi and a fellow presidential candidate are requesting a permit to hold a commemoration ceremony for those killed in the fallout after the June 12 elections, according to a post on Moussavi’s Web site Sunday.

At least 20 protesters were killed and more than 1,000 were arrested in Tehran in the first few days after the election, according to human rights groups.

Moussavi, a reformist and chief rival to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and fellow candidate Mehdi Karrubi sent the letter requesting a permit for the ceremony to the Islamic republic’s interior minister, according to Moussavi’s Ghalam News Web site.

The candidates want to hold the ceremony on Thursday at the site for Friday prayers, saying the date would signify the 40th day after the chaotic street demonstrations. For Iranians, a predominantly Shiite Muslim population, the 40th day marks the last official day of mourning in the immediate aftermath of a death.

The letter indicates that there will be no speeches at the proposed ceremony — only recitations from the Quran. Those who attend would be asked to pay their respects to the dead protesters by remaining silent, the letter says

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Reports: Ahmadinejad may face confidence vote in parliament

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Reports: Ahmadinejad may face confidence vote in parliament

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fired two members of his cabinet, and may have to face a vote of confidence in parliament for the final few days of his current term, two semi-official Iranian news agencies reported Sunday.

But the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) quoted a government official as saying that only one cabinet member was fired, so no such vote would be needed.

Iran has 21 ministries. According to the country’s constitution, if more than half the cabinet members are changed in a single term of presidency, a vote of confidence in Iran’s parliament is required. During his presidency, Ahmadinejad has replaced nine cabinet members. Two more would make 11 — more than half the total.

Ahmadinejad, whose controversial victory in presidential elections in June stoked widespread unrest in Iran, is scheduled to be sworn in for his second term during the first week of August. The Iranian Labour News Agency and Fars News Agency — both semi-official — said Sunday that Ahmadinejad had fired intelligence minister Mohseni Ejeie and culture minister Saffar Harandi.

Fars said that after firing Harandi, the president was trying to get him to come back in order to avoid a confidence vote.

Fars quoted Ahmad Tavakoli, a powerful rightist member of parliament who does not support Ahmadinejad, as saying, “I advise the president to change his mind.”

“Firing the ministers has no logical reason and creates difficult conditions for the country. This is not a suitable response to the trust of 24 million people who voted for the president,” Tavakoli was quoted as saying.

The deputy head of Ahmadinejad’s information office, Mohammad Ja’afar Mohammadzadeh, was quoted by IRNA as saying that only Ejeie was fired.

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