Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at swearing-in ceremony, Tehran, 5 August 2009.

After winning a hotly disputed election in Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been sworn in for a second term in office as the country’s president.

Ahmadinejad took his oath of office before the Parliament (Majlis) on Wednesday. He has two weeks to introduce his cabinet of ministers to Majlis for approval.

“I, as the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, swear before the holy Koran and the Iranian nation and God to be the guardian of the official religion, the Islamic Republic and the Constitution,” Ahmadinejad said at the ceremony.

More than 5,000 security and police forces gathered around the building of Majlis in central Tehran. Sniffer dogs were securing the area.

Head of the Leader’s Office Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani, heads of the three branches of the government, Secretary of the Guardian Council Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati and a number of foreign ambassadors in Tehran are attending the ceremony.

Ahmadinejad was declared the victor of the June 12 presidential election with almost two-thirds of the vote.

The president’s much-disputed re-election was met with opposition from other presidential candidates and an outpouring of anger demonstrated in mass rallies across the country with protestors dubbing the poll as rigged.

However, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Monday confirmed his support of the president, describing him as ’courageous, astute and hardworking’. The Leader urged Ahmadinejad to heed the views of his ’critics’.

On Monday, Ayatollah Khamenei endorsed President Ahmadinejad for his second term in office in a ceremony that took place in the absence of defeated candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, along with powerful cleric and official Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani and former President Mohammad Khatami.

There were also no representatives present from the family of the founder of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

With leading opposition figures Mousavi, Karroubi and Khatami refusing to acknowledge Ahmadinejad’s presidency, the incumbent’s re-election provoked bickering in the country’s political circles.

At least 30 people were killed, several of whom in prison, and thousands, including prominent Reformist figures and journalists, were rounded up in the course of the protests staged by supporters of the opposition leaders, who dismiss the official election result as ’fraudulent’ and call for its annulment.

US President Barack Obama and the leaders of France, Britain, Italy and Germany have all decided not to congratulate Ahmadinejad on his re-election.

However, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs quoted Obama as saying, "Ahmadinejad is the elected leader."

Press TV (Iran)