Tough challenges facing Iran president

After the turmoil of the last two months, it was a moment when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could attempt to restore his dignity. This time the drama was neatly choreographed as the oath was administered. The hugs, handshakes and kisses all in proper order, unlike the awkward moment on Monday when he was officially endorsed by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. But in front of the president were a number of empty seats, as some MPs and other senior figures boycotted the ceremony. The British and European ambassadors did attend, but Western governments declined to send messages of congratulations. And, as his second term begins, Mr Ahmadinejad faces an increasing series of problems.

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