Ban congratulates Ahmadinejad for re-election
The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has congratulated Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his re-election. "The letter went out yesterday," U.N. spokeswoman Marie Okabe stated on Tuesday.
Ahmadinejad's June 12 election win led to a wave of protests that left 26 people dead.
Western leaders, such as U.S. President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have so far refused to congratulate the Iranian leader.
According to Reuters, the U.N. spokeswoman said Ban's letter was a "customary letter on occasion of inauguration" but added that the text would not be made public. Okabe conveyed that the letter was not an endorsement of Ahmadinejad, but "takes advantage of the occasion of the inauguration to express the hope that Iran and the United Nations will continue to cooperate closely in addressing regional and global issues."