Washington: Indicating a change in stance of the Obama administration towards Iran`s recent disputed presidential election, the White House said Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the elected leader of the Islamist nation.
"He (Ahmadinijad) is the elected leader," Robert Gibbs, the White House Press Secretary, told reporters at his daily press briefing when asked about the swearing in ceremony
of Ahmadinijad as the President of Iran for the second term." he said.
"Look, I think we have said throughout this that this was a decision and a debate that was ongoing in Iran by Iranians. That they were going to choose their leadership,"
"The President has discussed our goals for reaching out in order to ensure that they don`t develop a nuclear weapons program. Those continue to be our goals," he said.
Ahmadinejad`s re-election on June 12 led to an opposition protest that triggered the worst turmoil in the Islamic republic`s history. Dozens of demonstrators were killed or wounded in the uprising.
President Barack Obama has been cautious in responding to the turmoil because he is trying to open a dialogue with Iran about its nuclear programme.