Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's new presidential term is off to a "frosty" start, said Borzou Daragahi in the Los Angeles Times. Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, "formally okayed" Ahmadinejad's second term, but in his speech Khamenei suggested that only a third of the country really backed the government. That's "hardly a ringing endorsement," so the Islamic republic's divisive leader can expect a hard time.
The U.S. and other countries in the West are exaggerating Iran's divisions, said Iranian Brig. Gen. Yadollah Javani in The Tehran Times, to try to stir up another color-coded revolution like the ones in Georgia and Ukraine. It was foreign media and governments that were behind the allegations of vote fraud that came after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's decisive reelection victory over Mir Hossein Mousavi.
Seven weeks of "very aggressive repression" may have succeeded in keeping much of the dissent from public view, said Jamsheed K. Choksy in The Huffington Post, but Mahmoud Ahmadinejed "faces a hornet's nest" after he's inaugurated for his second term on Wednesday. "Iran's society is in the worst political turmoil since 1979. Its economy is sliding downward rapidly too." And the opposition, though beaten down, will "morph" and figure out how to thwart the regime.
"Three clocks are ticking for the rattled rulers of Iran," said The Christian Science Monitor in an editorial. The first counts down to the day, maybe just a year away, when Iran gains the capicity to build a nuclear bomb. The second ticks toward the September deadline President Obama set for Tehran to accept nuclear talks. But the third clock is the most important—it's the one that has moved forward with each election protest, measuring the moments until the leadership's "legitimacy runs out."