Iranian Opposition Leaders Boycott Endorsement of Ahmadinejad's Controversial Election

Former presidents Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mahmoud Khatami did not attend the event, which was also boycotted by opposition leaders Mir Hossein Moussavi and Mehdi Karroubi. Parliament speaker Ali Larijani was, however, seated on the podium.

News reports said that several leading opponents of Mr. Ahmadinejad stayed away from the ceremony Monday, including the main opposition candidate, Mir Hussein Moussavi, his ally Mehdi Karroubi and Hasan Khomeini, a reformist and the grandson of the Islamic Republic’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Opposition leaders have hinted that they will stay away from the inauguration later in the week.

Two former presidents who have criticized the election, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami, also boycotted Monday’s event, news reports said.