Just desserts for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
A confirmation ceremony Monday meant to showcase the unity of the Islamic Republic’s leadership highlighted its divisions, sparking clashes in the streets between demonstrators and security forces that stretched into the night.
Iran’s supreme leader endorsed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for a second term nearly eight weeks after a disputed reelection that continues to roil the nation.
Dozens of officials, dignitaries and clergy boycotted the ceremony, including Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, considered one of the most powerful people in the country.
Hours later, fighting erupted in several Tehran districts between supporters of opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who chanted “death to the dictator,” and security forces. Drivers stopped their cars in the middle of highways and in central squares, leaning on their horns in gestures of protest.
As the clock struck 10 p.m., residents climbed to their rooftops or stuck their heads out their windows and roared “God is great!” in what has become a nightly expression of opposition to Ahmadinejad’s rule.
Concerning the relationship between Ahmadinejad and Khamene’i, the body language tells all:
Iran watchers noted differences between Monday’s confirmation ceremony and the one at the beginning of Ahmadinejad’s first term, at which Khamenei affectionately embraced the president and allowed him to kiss his hand. This time they encountered each other awkwardly, with Ahmadinejad eventually leaning forward and kissing the supreme leader on the shoulder.
More on this issue here. So, Ahmadinejad gets re-inaugurated in a ceremony as awkward as the attempt to steal the election, and the Iranian people–utterly unimpressed–continue revolting.
I’d say that this is yet more evidence that the regime is in trouble. Wouldn’t you?