HONOLULU, Hawaii, Aug 10 (IPS) - With the confirmation of his re-election by Ayatollah Khamenei and his oath of office taken, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will begin his second term facing much steeper challenges than any of Iran’s previous second-term presidents.
In fact, despite the proclaimed support of 24 million Iranians, his government is by far the weakest post-revolutionary government. Ironically, it is this weakened position that tempts him to be a force of constant agitation and confrontation.
Challenges facing Ahmadinejad include open hostility from a large section of the Iranian elite which Ayatollah Khamenei characterised in Ahmadinejad’s confirmation speech as "angry and wounded"; highly charged criticisms of his appointments and policies from within the conservative ranks; continued civil disobedience; a public mood that has turned from mostly inattentive and apolitical to concerned and angry; general unhappiness among the clergy about the harsh crackdown; and a much more hostile international environment.
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