Ahmadinejad dismisses US refusal to congratulate him | world | Hindustan Times
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Ahmadinejad dismisses US refusal to congratulate him

Hardline Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed on Wednesday Washington's refusal to congratulate him on his election victory amid widespread protests by his rivals.

world Updated: Aug 05, 2009 14:09 IST

Hardline Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed on Wednesday Washington's refusal to congratulate him on his election victory amid widespread protests by his rivals.

"They said they would recognise the election, but will not congratulate. This means they only want democracy at the service of their interests and don't respect people's vote and rights," Ahmadinejad said in a speech after he was formally sworn in as the president for a second four-year term.

"You should know that nobody in Iran awaits your congratulations. Iranians will neither value your scowling and bullying nor smiles and greetings."

The White House yesterday acknowledged Ahmadinejad as the "elected" president of Iran, but said it had no plans to congratulate the firebrand leader on his victory.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs stopped short of declaring him the "legitimate" president following the political turmoil unleashed by his disputed reelection in June.

"He's the elected leader," Gibbs said.

Asked whether the United States would make any gesture of congratulations after Ahmadinejad took the oath of office, he said: "I don't have any reason to believe that we will send any letters."

The United States has had no diplomatic relations with Iran for three decades and its interests in the country are represented by the Swiss embassy.