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Iran's Supreme Leader Endorses Ahmadinejad as President

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has formally endorsed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the country's next president.

The conservative Mr. Ahmadinejad, who won the June presidential elections, succeeds reformist President Mohammad Khatami, whose term ends Wednesday.

The new president will be sworn-in before parliament Saturday.

He takes office at a time when Iran is under mounting western pressure over its nuclear ambitions. Mr. Ahmadinejad, a former mayor of Tehran, says "access to nuclear technology is Iran's inalienable right."

The 49-year-old Mr. Ahmadinejad is also a former member of the hard-line Revolutionary Guard and a former instructor of the Basij religious vigilantes.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.