On Friday, the supreme leader raised the stakes by giving Ahmadinejad full support and insisting that there was no fraud in the election.
Iran's Guardian Council offered a partial recount of the presidential vote Tuesday as pressure mounted from the biggest rally since the revolution, in which eight were killed.
Iran's supreme leader ordered the Guardian Council to investigate the candidate's claims of electoral fraud. But the council is headed by a cleric cut from the same cloth as President Ahmadinejad.
Street demonstrations quieted ahead of intensely anticipated presidential vote on Friday.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faced off against one of his three opponents, Mir Hossein Mousavi, Wednesday night in the second of six debates leading up to June 12 elections.
Campaigners are often seen as a threat to national security and influenced by Western interests.
Despite President Obama's offer to extend a hand if Iran 'unclenched its fist,' Iranian officials say his choice of diplomats calls into question his commitment to change.
Signals from both Tehran and Washington are often misinterpreted and the subject of attack on the domestic stages in both countries.
Many who once called for change have turned away from politics altogether and won't be voting in Friday's election.