Mahmoud Ahmadinejad takes post of Iran President

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has taken over the Iranian presidency with Tehran Wednesday when the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei approved his appointment.

The 48-year-old conservative former mayor of Tehran, deeply loyal to the values of Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, won a landslide election victory in June and was appointed president by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"I therefore ... approve the vote of the nation and appoint Dr Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran," said a text by Khamenei read out at a ceremony by outgoing President Mohammad Khatami.

Ahmadinejad takes the helm as Iran edges closer to possible UN Security Council sanctions over its nuclear programme, which Washington says is a smokescreen for building atomic bombs. Tehran insists its ambitions are peaceful, AP informs.

In order to break this impasse, EU diplomats have been trying to get Iran to surrender its nuclear fuel work in return for economic incentives.

Ahmadinejad is the first non-cleric to hold the post. Being the sixth president of the Islamic Republic since 1981, he will serve a four-year term.

He earned his positive reputation from the merits of improving the traffic condition and stabilizing prices in the sprawling and polluted capital cit, according to Xinhua.

He was regarded as ultra-conservative and held a uncompromising attitudes toward the nuclear issue and the relations with the United States.

At his first press conference after being elected, Ahmadinejad said his cabinet would "never give up Iran's legal rights under any circumstances" and would have no intention to improve the relations with the United States.

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