Khamenei formally endorses Ahmadinejad's second presidential term

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Tehran (Iran), Aug.3 (ANI): Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, formally endorsed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for second term as president Monday in a ceremony that sought to portray unity among the country's leadership but was snubbed by prominent critics of the disputed election.

After Khamenei gave his official seal of approval, he received an awkward kiss on the shoulder from Ahmadinejad.

The endorsement cleared the way for Ahmadinejad to take the oath of office Wednesday in parliament, where many pro-reform lawmakers have echoed the claims of fraud in the June 12 presidential election.

The ceremony, however, was boycotted by two former presidents - Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami - as well as defeated pro-reform candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi, state media reported. (ANI)

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