Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took the oath of office for a
second term as president in front of Iran's parliament, Wednesday -
delivering a short and sober speech saying he would defend the nation.
A number of his opponents in parliament did not show up for the
Iranian members of parliament stood at attention for
the national anthem, before the oath of office was officially
administered to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
comes after weeks of unrest, following a disputed June 12
presidential election, amid charges of vote-rigging by his opponents.
of scattered protests, both outside of parliament and elsewhere, spoke
of small crowds being dispersed by security forces, using pepper
spray. Reuters says at least one woman protester was arrested.
Ahmadinejad's opponents in parliament had vowed not to attend his
swearing-in ceremony and Iranian TV's quick pan of the parliament
chamber revealed a number of empty seats.
Looking serious and
speaking in a firm and sober tone of voice, President Ahmadinejad vowed
to protect his country and his religion.
He went on to reiterate criticism of outside forces saying that their efforts to question his re-election would get nowhere:
naming them, he says that opponents and enemies had tried to create a
dusty and hazy atmosphere, sowing doubt and trying to depict a somber
future. He says intelligent people turned out in elections, seeking
the assistance of God.
The Iranian president also took what appeared to be a subtle swipe at several Western leaders, including President Barack Obama.
said that no one in Iran is waiting for congratulations and that the
Iranian nation does not give importance to frowns and threats or to
congratulations and smiles.
Eyewitnesses say that hundreds of
police and security forces were deployed outside the parliament, to
prevent any sizable opposition gathering. A nearby transit station was
closed to the public.
Supporters of opposition leaders Mir
Hossein Moussavi and Mehdi Karroubi had called for protests against Mr.
Ahmadinejad's inauguration ceremony.