Ahmadinejad wins Iran endorsement

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has formally endorsed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as winner of Iran's 12 June presidential election, state TV says.

The ayatollah formally backed the incumbent two days ahead of official inauguration and amid allegations of post-election torture of protesters. Mr Ahmadinejad also faces a struggle to assemble a team of ministers acceptable to parliament, correspondents say.

Opposition groups alleged major vote-rigging and staged large protests. Since then there has been open evidence of disagreement among senior figures in the Iranian political establishment.

In June, Ayatollah Khamenei offered his backing to Mr Ahmadinejad at the height of the post-election protests.

But senior and respected figures, including two former presidents, Mohammad Khatami and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, have spoken out against the process.

Mr Rafsanjani, Mr Mousavi and another defeated presidential candidate, Mehdi Karroubi, were absent from Monday's endorsement ceremony, state TV said, AFP news agency reported.

The BBC's Tehran correspondent Jon Leyne says that the process of formally installing Mr Ahmadinejad for he second term in office will begin despite growing criticism of the president from the opposition and from many conservatives.

recommended by Majid Zahrai