Ayatollah Khamenei Officially Endorses Ahmadinejad's Contested Second Term

Iran's Supreme Leader endorsed the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a ceremony boycotted by leading moderates in protest at a disputed poll that plunged Iran into its worst crisis since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

I am endorsing the presidency of this brave, hard-working and wise man as the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran”

— Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

After Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gave his official seal of approval, he allowed Ahmadinejad to kiss his robe on his shoulder — a noticeably more restrained gesture than four years ago when Ahmadinejad kissed the leader's hand and cheeks in a sign of closeness and loyalty.

The meeting 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 election.