Iranian riot police and opposition supporters clashed in Tehran Monday,
hours after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was endorsed as president for a second
A correspondent for Iran's state-run Press TV says riot police used
tear gas to disperse about 2,000 demonstrators who gathered between two
squares (Valiasr and Vanak) in the capital.
Iran has barred foreign news organizations from sending reporters to cover opposition protests.
Earlier, Iran's supreme leader formally endorsed the second-term
presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, despite opposition claims of fraud
in his re-election.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei approved Mr. Ahmadinejad's presidency at an
official ceremony Monday in Tehran. Several hundred people were
present, but there were notable absences, including two former
presidents, Mohammed Khatami and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Defeated
reformist candidates, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, also did
not attend the event.
The supreme leader Monday praised the election's outcome. Mr. Ahmadinejad will be sworn in by parliament on Wednesday (August 5).
The president has two weeks from that date to announce his new Cabinet.
After Mr. Ahmadinejad's first election four years ago, a photograph was
circulated of the new president kissing Khamenei's hand in a show of
loyalty. But this year, Iranian media report the supreme leader stepped
back when Mr. Ahmadinejad approached in an apparent attempt to kiss his
hand Monday. The ayatollah instead allowed the president to kiss his
After the June 12 presidential election, Iranian security forces
arrested hundreds of activists, politicians and protesters. A mass
trial for more than 100 of the detainees began Saturday.
Former President Khatami, who now heads one of the largest reform
parties in Iran, said Sunday the mass trial is unconstitutional.
He called the judicial proceedings a "show" trial, and said prosecutors
are relying on confessions that were illegally obtained.