Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was sworn in as Iran’s president on Wednesday, nearly eight weeks after a disputed election that unleashed the worst unrest since the 1979 Islamic revolution and divided the political and clerical elite.
The 53-year-old hardliner took his oath of office before parliament, with riot police out in force in nearby streets to foil any protests by opponents who say the election was rigged.
“I, as the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, swear before the holy Koran and the Iranian nation and God to be the guardian of the official religion, the Islamic Republic and the constitution,” Ahmadinejad declared at the ceremony.
Opposition websites said supporters of Ahmadinejad’s main political rival, Mirhossein Mousavi, were planning protests.
Ahmadinejad said Iran wanted peaceful coexistence with the world, but would resist any “bullying” power. “Internationally, we seek peace and security. But because we want this for all of humanity, we oppose injustice, aggression and the high-handedness...”. A witness reported seeing hundreds of Mousavi supporters in the vicinity of parliament.