Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Overview
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the sixth and current President
President of Iran
The President of Iran is the highest popularly elected official in, and the head of government of the Islamic Republic of Iran; although subordinate to the Supreme Leader of Iran, who functions as the country's head of state...

 of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, and the main political leader of the Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran
Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran
The Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran , usually shortened to Abadgaran , is an alliance of some right-wing Iranian political parties and organizations. The alliance, mostly active in Tehran, won almost all of Tehran's seats in the Iranian Majlis election of 2004 and the Iranian City and Village...

, a coalition of conservative political groups in the country.
An engineer and teacher from a poor background, Ahmadinejad joined the Office for Strengthening Unity
Office for Strengthening Unity
The Office for Strengthening Unity , is an Iranian student organization created in 1979, and has been described as "the country's most well-known student organization," and "Iran's leading prodemocracy student group"...

 after the Islamic Revolution. Appointed a provincial governor, he was removed after the election of President Mohammad Khatami
Mohammad Khatami
Sayyid Mohammad Khātamī is an Iranian scholar, philosopher, Shiite theologian and Reformist politician. He served as the fifth President of Iran from August 2, 1997 to August 3, 2005. He also served as Iran's Minister of Culture in both the 1980s and 1990s...

 and returned to teaching.
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Encyclopedia
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the sixth and current President
President of Iran
The President of Iran is the highest popularly elected official in, and the head of government of the Islamic Republic of Iran; although subordinate to the Supreme Leader of Iran, who functions as the country's head of state...

 of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, and the main political leader of the Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran
Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran
The Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran , usually shortened to Abadgaran , is an alliance of some right-wing Iranian political parties and organizations. The alliance, mostly active in Tehran, won almost all of Tehran's seats in the Iranian Majlis election of 2004 and the Iranian City and Village...

, a coalition of conservative political groups in the country.
An engineer and teacher from a poor background, Ahmadinejad joined the Office for Strengthening Unity
Office for Strengthening Unity
The Office for Strengthening Unity , is an Iranian student organization created in 1979, and has been described as "the country's most well-known student organization," and "Iran's leading prodemocracy student group"...

 after the Islamic Revolution. Appointed a provincial governor, he was removed after the election of President Mohammad Khatami
Mohammad Khatami
Sayyid Mohammad Khātamī is an Iranian scholar, philosopher, Shiite theologian and Reformist politician. He served as the fifth President of Iran from August 2, 1997 to August 3, 2005. He also served as Iran's Minister of Culture in both the 1980s and 1990s...

 and returned to teaching. Tehran's council elected him mayor in 2003. He took a religious hard line, reversing reforms of previous moderate mayors. His 2005 presidential campaign, supported by the Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran
Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran
The Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran , usually shortened to Abadgaran , is an alliance of some right-wing Iranian political parties and organizations. The alliance, mostly active in Tehran, won almost all of Tehran's seats in the Iranian Majlis election of 2004 and the Iranian City and Village...

, garnered 62% of the runoff election votes, and he became President on 3 August 2005.

Ahmadinejad is a controversial figure both within Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and internationally. He has been criticized domestically for his economic lapses and disregard for human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

. He launched a gas rationing plan
2007 Gas Rationing Plan in Iran
2007 Gasoline Rationing Plan in Iran was launched by president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's cabinet to reduce that country's fuel consumption. Although Iran is one of the world's largest producers of petroleum, rapid increases in demand and limited refining capacity has forced the country to import about...

 in 2007 to reduce the country's fuel consumption, and cut the interest rates that private and public banking facilities could charge. He supports Iran's nuclear energy program. His election to a second term in 2009 was widely disputed and caused widespread protests domestically and drew significant international criticism. In 2011 the presence of a so-called "deviant current" among his aides and supporters led to the arrest of several of them.

Early life


Ahmadinejad was born near Garmsar
Garmsar
Garmsar is a city in and the capital of Garmsar County, Semnan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 38,891, in 10,951 families....

 in the village of Aradan
Aradan, Iran
Aradan is a small town in and capital of Aradan District, Garmsar County, Semnan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 4,959, in 1,380 families.It is the birthplace of the current President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad....

, in Semnan province
Semnan Province
Semnan Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the north of the country, and its center is Semnan. The province of Semnan covers an area of 96,816 square kilometers and stretches along the Alborz mountain range and borders to Dasht-e Kavir desert in its southern parts.Counties of...

. His father, Ahmad, was an ironworker, grocer
Grocer
A grocer is a bulk seller of food. Beginning as early as the 14th century, a grocer was a dealer in comestible dry goods such as spices, pepper, sugar, and cocoa, tea and coffee...

, barber
Barber
A barber is someone whose occupation is to cut any type of hair, and to shave or trim the beards of men. The place of work of a barber is generally called a barbershop....

, blacksmith
Blacksmith
A blacksmith is a person who creates objects from wrought iron or steel by forging the metal; that is, by using tools to hammer, bend, and cut...

 and religious Shi'a who taught the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

. His mother, Khanom, was a Seyyede
Sayyid
Sayyid is an honorific title, it denotes males accepted as descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad through his grandsons, Hasan ibn Ali and Husain ibn Ali, sons of the prophet's daughter Fatima Zahra and his son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Talib.Daughters of sayyids are given the titles Sayyida,...

, an honorific
Honorific
An honorific is a word or expression with connotations conveying esteem or respect when used in addressing or referring to a person. Sometimes, the term is used not quite correctly to refer to an honorary title...

 title given to those believed to be direct bloodline descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

. Ahmadinejad's father changed his name from "Sabourjian" or "Sabaghian" when Ahmadinejad was four years old to avoid discrimination when the family moved to Tehran, as the rural name indicated a lowly social standing. Sabor is Persian for thread painter, a once common occupation within the Semnan carpet industry. Ahmadinejad was chosen as it means from the race of Ahmad, one of the names given to Muhammad.

In 1976, Ahmadinejad took Iran's national university entrance contests. According to his autobiography, he was ranked 132nd out of 400,000 participants that year, and soon enrolled in the Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST) as an undergraduate student of civil engineering. He earned his PhD
PHD
PHD may refer to:*Ph.D., a doctorate of philosophy*Ph.D. , a 1980s British group*PHD finger, a protein sequence*PHD Mountain Software, an outdoor clothing and equipment company*PhD Docbook renderer, an XML renderer...

 (1997) in transportation engineering and planning from Iran University of Science and Technology
Iran University of Science and Technology
The Iran University of Science and Technology is a research institution and university of engineering and science in Iran, offering both undergraduate and postgraduate studies...

, located at Tehran, when he was the Mayor of Ardabil Province, located at the north-west of the country.

Supporters of Ahmadinejad consider him a "simple man" that leads a "modest" life. As president, he wanted to continue living in the same house in Tehran his family had been living in, until his security advisers insisted that he move. Ahmadinejad had the antique Persian carpets in the Presidential palace sent to a carpet museum, and opted instead to use inexpensive carpets. He is said to have refused the V.I.P. seat on the Presidential plane, and that he eventually replaced it with a cargo plane instead. Also upon gaining Iran's presidency, Ahmadinejad held his first cabinet meeting in the Imam Reza shrine at Mashhad, an act perceived as "pious".

Administrative and academic careers


Some details of Ahmadinejad's life during the 1980s are not publicly known, but it is known that he held a number of administrative posts in the province of West Azerbaijan, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

.

Many reports say that after Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

 invaded Iran, Ahmadinejad joined the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution and served in their intelligence and security apparatus, but his advisor Mojtaba Samareh Hashemi
Council for Spreading Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Thoughts
The Council for Spreading President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Thoughts is an official high-council, established by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government in order to spread the philosophy, ideology and sociology of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.The aim of the council "to define and guard over the thought...

 says "He has never been a member or an official member of the Revolutionary Guards", having been a Basij
Basij
The Basij is a paramilitary volunteer militia established in 1979 by order of the Islamic Revolution's leader Ayatollah Khomeini. The force consists of young Iranians who have volunteered, often in exchange for official benefits...

i-like volunteer instead.

Ahmadinejad was accepted to a Master of Science
Master of Science
A Master of Science is a postgraduate academic master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The degree is typically studied for in the sciences including the social sciences.-Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay:...

 program at his alma mater in 1986. He joined the faculty there as a lecturer in 1989, and in 1997 received his doctorate
Doctorate
A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder to teach in a specific field, A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder...

 in civil engineering and traffic transportation planning.

Embassy siege



Shortly after being elected president, some western media outlets published claims that Ahmadinejad was among the students who stormed the US embassy in Tehran, sparking the Iran hostage crisis
Iran hostage crisis
The Iran hostage crisis was a diplomatic crisis between Iran and the United States where 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981, after a group of Islamist students and militants took over the American Embassy in Tehran in support of the Iranian...

. This claim has been denied by the Iranian government, the Iranian opposition as well as a CIA investigation on the matter.

Early political career


After the Islamic Revolution, Ahmadinejad became a member of the Office for Strengthening Unity
Office for Strengthening Unity
The Office for Strengthening Unity , is an Iranian student organization created in 1979, and has been described as "the country's most well-known student organization," and "Iran's leading prodemocracy student group"...

, an organization developed to prevent students from sympathizing or allying with the budding Mojahedin-e Khalq.

He first took political office as unelected governor to both Maku
Maku, Iran
Maku is a city in the West Azerbaijan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 41,865, in 10,428 families.It is situated from the Turkish border in a mountain gorge at an altitude of 1634 metres. The Zangmar River cuts through the city. The common languages in Maku are Kurdish and...

 and Khoy
Khoy
Khoy is a city in and the capital of Khoy County, West Azerbaijan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 178,708, in 45,090 families....

 in West Azarbaijan Province
West Azarbaijan Province
West Azerbaijan Province or West Azarbaijan Province , is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is located in the North West of the country, bordering Turkey, Iraq and Nakhchivan, and the provinces of East Azerbaijan, Zanjan and Kurdistan....

 during the 1980s. He eventually became an advisor to the governor general of Kurdistan Province
Kurdistan Province (Iran)
Kurdistan Province or Kordestan Province or Kurdestan Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran, not to be confused with the greater geographical area of Iranian Kurdistan. The province of Kurdistan is 28,817 km² in area which encompasses just one-fourth of the Kurdish inhabited areas of Iran or...

 for two years. During his doctoral studies at Tehran, he was appointed governor general of Ardabil Province
Ardabil Province
Ardabil Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the north west of the country, bordering the Republic of Azerbaijan and the provinces of East Azerbaijan, Zanjan, and Gilan. Its centre is the city of Ardabil...

 from 1993 until Mohammad Khatami
Mohammad Khatami
Sayyid Mohammad Khātamī is an Iranian scholar, philosopher, Shiite theologian and Reformist politician. He served as the fifth President of Iran from August 2, 1997 to August 3, 2005. He also served as Iran's Minister of Culture in both the 1980s and 1990s...

 removed him in 1997 when he returned to teaching.

Mayor of Tehran


In 2003, a 12 percent turnout elected conservative candidates from the Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran
Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran
The Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran , usually shortened to Abadgaran , is an alliance of some right-wing Iranian political parties and organizations. The alliance, mostly active in Tehran, won almost all of Tehran's seats in the Iranian Majlis election of 2004 and the Iranian City and Village...

 to the City Council of Tehran
City Council of Tehran
The City Council of Tehran is the elected council that presides over the city of Tehran, elects the Mayor of Tehran, and budgets of the Municipality of Tehran.The council is composed of fifteen members elected from single-member districts for four-year terms...

. The Council appointed Ahmadinejad mayor.

As mayor, he reversed changes made by previous moderate
Moderate
In politics and religion, a moderate is an individual who is not extreme, partisan or radical. In recent years, political moderates has gained traction as a buzzword....

 and reformist
Reformism
Reformism is the belief that gradual democratic changes in a society can ultimately change a society's fundamental economic relations and political structures...

 mayors. He put religious emphasis on the activities of cultural centres they had founded, publicised the separation of elevator
Elevator
An elevator is a type of vertical transport equipment that efficiently moves people or goods between floors of a building, vessel or other structures...

s for men and women in the municipality offices, and suggested that people killed in the Iran–Iraq War be buried in major city squares of Tehran. He also worked to improve the traffic system and put an emphasis on charity
Charity (virtue)
In Christian theology charity, or love , means an unlimited loving-kindness toward all others.The term should not be confused with the more restricted modern use of the word charity to mean benevolent giving.- Caritas: altruistic love :...

, such as distributing free soup to the poor.

After his election to the presidency, Ahmadinejad's resignation as the Mayor of Tehran was accepted on 28 June 2005. After two years as mayor, Ahmadinejad was one of 65 finalists for World Mayor
World Mayor
World Mayor is a biennial award organized by The City Mayors Foundation since 2004. It intends to raise the profile of mayors worldwide, as well as honour those who have served their communities well and who have contributed to the well-being of cities, nationally and internationally...

 in 2005, selected from 550 nominees, only nine of them from Asia. He was among three strong candidates for the top ten list, but his resignation made him ineligible.

2005 campaign


Ahmadinejad was not widely known when he entered the presidential election campaign as he had never run for office before, (he had only been mayor of Tehran for two years and had been appointed not elected), although he had already made his mark in Tehran for rolling back earlier reforms. He was/is a member of the Central Council of the Islamic Society of Engineers
Islamic Society of Engineers
The Islamic Society of Engineers or ISE, is a political organization in Iran, a member of the conservative Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran....

, but his key political support is inside the Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran
Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran
The Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran , usually shortened to Abadgaran , is an alliance of some right-wing Iranian political parties and organizations. The alliance, mostly active in Tehran, won almost all of Tehran's seats in the Iranian Majlis election of 2004 and the Iranian City and Village...

 (Abadgaran or Developers). He was also helped by support from supreme leader Ali Khamanei, who some described Ahmadinejad as a "protege".

Ahmadinejad generally sent mixed signals about his plans for his presidency, perhaps to attract both religious conservatives and the lower economic classes. His campaign slogan
Slogan
A slogan is a memorable motto or phrase used in a political, commercial, religious and other context as a repetitive expression of an idea or purpose. The word slogan is derived from slogorn which was an Anglicisation of the Scottish Gaelic sluagh-ghairm . Slogans vary from the written and the...

 was: "It's possible and we can do it".

In the campaign, he took a populist
Populism
Populism can be defined as an ideology, political philosophy, or type of discourse. Generally, a common theme compares "the people" against "the elite", and urges social and political system changes. It can also be defined as a rhetorical style employed by members of various political or social...

 approach. He emphasized his own modest life, and compared himself with Mohammad Ali Rajai
Mohammad Ali Rajai
Mohammad Ali Rajai was the second elected President of Iran from 2 to 30 August 1981, after serving as Prime Minister under Abolhassan Banisadr. He was also Minister of Foreign Affairs from 11 March 1981 to 15 August 1981, while he was Prime Minister...

, Iran's second president. Ahmadinejad said he planned to create an "exemplary government for the people of the world" in Iran. He was a "principlist", acting politically based on Islamic and revolutionary
Iranian Revolution
The Iranian Revolution refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran's monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the...

 principles. One of his goals was "putting the petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 income on people's tables", meaning Iran's oil profits would be distributed among the poor.

Ahmadinejad was the only presidential candidate who spoke out against future relations with the United States. He told Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcaster, or IRIB, , formerly called the National Iranian Radio and Television until the Islamic revolution of 1979, is a giant Iranian corporation in control of radio and television which is among the largest media organizations in Asia and Pacific region, and a regular...

  the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 was "one-sided, stacked against the world of Islam." He opposed the veto power of the UN Security Council's five permanent members: "It is not just for a few states to sit and veto global approvals. Should such a privilege continue to exist, the Muslim world with a population of nearly 1.5 billion should be extended the same privilege." He defended Iran's nuclear program and accused "a few arrogant powers" of trying to limit Iran's industrial and technological development in this and other fields.

In his second round campaign, he said, "We didn't participate in the revolution for turn-by-turn government....This revolution tries to reach a world-wide government." He spoke of an extended program using trade to improve foreign relations, and called for greater ties with Iran's neighbours and ending visa
Visa (document)
A visa is a document showing that a person is authorized to enter the territory for which it was issued, subject to permission of an immigration official at the time of actual entry. The authorization may be a document, but more commonly it is a stamp endorsed in the applicant's passport...

 requirements between states in the region, saying that "people should visit anywhere they wish freely. People should have freedom in their pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of great moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith...

s and tours."

Ahmadinejad described Ayatollah
Ayatollah
Ayatollah is a high ranking title given to Usuli Twelver Shī‘ah clerics. Those who carry the title are experts in Islamic studies such as jurisprudence, ethics, and philosophy and usually teach in Islamic seminaries. The next lower clerical rank is Hojatoleslam wal-muslemin...

 Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi
Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi
Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi is a hardline Iranian Twelver Shi'i cleric and politician who is widely seen as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's spiritual advisor. He is also a member of Iran's Assembly of Experts, the body responsible for choosing the Supreme Leader, where he heads...

, a senior cleric from Qom
Qom
Qom is a city in Iran. It lies by road southwest of Tehran and is the capital of Qom Province. At the 2006 census, its population was 957,496, in 241,827 families. It is situated on the banks of the Qom River....

 as his ideological and spiritual mentor. Mesbah founded the Haghani
Haghani Circle
Haghani school is a Shi'i school of thought in Iran by a group of hardliner right-wing clerics based in the holy city of Qom and headed by Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi, an influential theologian. The Haghani Circle has its origin in the Haghani seminary, founded in 1964, which previously...

 School of thought in Iran. He and his team strongly supported Ahmadinejad's 2005 presidential campaign.

2005 election



Ahmadinejad won 62 percent of the vote in the run-off poll against Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is an influential Iranian politician and writer, who was the fourth President of Iran. He was a member of the Assembly of Experts until his resignation in 2011...

. Supreme Leader
Supreme Leader of Iran
The Supreme Leader of Iran is the highest ranking political and religious authority in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The post was established by the constitution in accordance with the concept of Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists...

 Ayatollah Khamenei authorized his presidency on 3 August 2005. Ahmedinejad kissed Khamenei's hand during the ceremony to show his loyalty.

2005 cabinet appointments

Ministry Minister
Agriculture Mohammadreza Eskandari
Commerce Masoud Mirkazemi
Communication and Information Technology Mohammad Soleimani
Mohammad Soleimani
Mohammad Soleimani is an Iranian politician and former Minister of Communication and Information Technology and formerly the Iranian ambassador to Mali.He was born in kazerun.-Academics:...

Cooperatives
Ministry of Cooperatives (Iran)
The Ministry of Cooperatives established in 1991 and dissolved in 2011, was an Iranian government body responsible for the oversight of Cooperative business in Iran.-External links:*...

Mohammad Abbasi
Mohammad Abbasi
Mohammad Abbasi is an Iranian politician who is the current Acting Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports. He was Minister of Cooperatives in the first and second Cabinet of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from 2005 to 2011...

Culture and Islamic Guidance
Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance
The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance is the ministry of Culture of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is responsible for restricting access to any media of which the Islamic Regime in Tehran does not approve....

 
Hossein Saffar Harandi
Defense and Armed Forces Logistics
Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics
The Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics is the defence ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It was formed in 1989 and has control both over Iran's regular forces and over its Revolutionary Guard, particularly bringing the latter under the overall defence umbrella by reducing its...

 
Mostafa Mohammad Najjar
Economy and Financial Affairs Hossein Samsami
Education
Ministry of Education (Iran)
The Ministry of Education established in 1964, is an Iranian government body responsible for the oversight of K-12 education in Iran.-External links:*...

 
Alireza Aliahmadi
Energy Parviz Fattah
Parviz Fattah
Parviz Fattah is an Iranian politician, former member of Revolutionary Guard and former Iran's Minister of Energy in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's cabinet -Biography:...

Foreign Affairs
Minister of Foreign Affairs (Iran)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is an Iranian government ministry. The Minister for Foreign Affairs is the Cabinet member in charge....

 
Manouchehr Mottaki
Manouchehr Mottaki
Manouchehr Mottaki is an Iranian politician and diplomat. He was the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs. Whilst technically appointed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he is considered to be closer to more pragmatic conservative factions and during the 2005 presidential election, he was the campaign...

Health and Medical Education
Ministry of Health and Medical Education
The Ministry of Health and Medical Education has executive responsibility for health and medical education within the Iranian government.Iran's health system is highly centralized, and almost all decisions regarding general...

 
Kamran Bagheri Lankarani
Kamran Bagheri Lankarani
Kamran Bagheri Lankarani M.D., was Iran's Minister of Health and Medical Education.Born in 1965, he finished medical school at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, and attained an advanced fellowship degree in Medicine from the same university. He specializes in gastroenterology.Baqeri-Lankarani...

Housing and Urban Development Mohammad Saeedikia
Industries and Mines Aliakbar Mehrabian
Aliakbar Mehrabian
Ali Akbar Mehrabian is an Iranian politician who wasMinister of Industries and Mines from 2 November 2007 to 3 August 2011. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has proposed he retain this post in the 2009 cabinet...

Intelligence  Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejehei
Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejehei
Hojjatol-Islam Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje'i was the head of the Ministry of Intelligence in Iran from 2005 to July 2009, when he was abruptly dismissed. On August 24, 2009 he was appointed prosecutor general of the country by new judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani. He has also held a number...

Interior
Ministry of Interior (Iran)
The Ministry of Interior of the Islamic Republic of Iran is in charge of performing, supervising and reporting elections, and policing, among other responsibilities related to the interior....

 
Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi
Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi
Hojatoll-Islam Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi is a politician in the Islamic Republic of Iran. In 2005, he was appointed as the new interior minister of the country by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with the approval of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei...

Justice
Ministry of Justice (Iran)
Minister of Justice of the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for prosecuting the government cases. In other words, the justice minister is the attorney-general of the country. However, he has nothing to do with policing which is the responsibility of the Interior minister of the Islamic...

 
Gholam Hossein Elham
Labour and Social Affairs Mohammad Jahromi
Petroleum
Ministry of Petroleum of Iran
The Ministry of Petroleum manages the oil industry, the producer of oil and petrochemical products. MoP is in charge of all issues pertaining to exploration, extraction, exploitation, distribution and exportation of crude oil and oil products. In addition, according to the "", issuing import...

 
Rostam Ghassemi
Roads and Transportation Hamid Behbahani
Hamid Behbahani
Hamid Behbahani is an Iranian university professor and politician who served as Minister of Roads and Transportation from 2 August 2008 to 1 February 2011 when he was impeached by the Parliament of Iran....

Science, Research, and Technology Mohammad Mehdi Zahedi
Mohammad Mehdi Zahedi
Mohammad Mehdi Zahedi is an Iranian politician and was the former minister of science and technology in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's first cabinet from 2005 to 2009. He was approved by Iran's parliament with the least number of supporting votes possible....

Welfare and Social Security Abdolreza Mesri


Iran's President is constitutionally obliged to obtain confirmation from the parliament for his selection of ministers. Ahmadinejad presented a short-list at a private meeting on 5 August, and his final list on 14 August. The Majlis rejected all of his cabinet candidates for the oil portfolio and objected to the appointment of his allies in senior government office. The Majlis approved a cabinet on 24 August. The ministers promised to meet frequently outside Tehran and held their first meeting on 25 August in Mashhad
Mashhad
Mashhad , is the second largest city in Iran and one of the holiest cities in the Shia Muslim world. It is also the only major Iranian city with an Arabic name. It is located east of Tehran, at the center of the Razavi Khorasan Province close to the borders of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Its...

, with four empty seats for the unapproved nominees.

2006 Councils and Assembly of Experts election


Ahmadinejad’s team lost the 2006 city council elections, and his spiritual mentor, Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi
Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi
Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi is a hardline Iranian Twelver Shi'i cleric and politician who is widely seen as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's spiritual advisor. He is also a member of Iran's Assembly of Experts, the body responsible for choosing the Supreme Leader, where he heads...

, was ranked sixth on the country's Assembly of Experts. In the first nationwide election since Ahmadinejad became President, his allies failed to dominate election returns for the Assembly of Experts
Assembly of Experts
The Assembly of Experts of Iran , also translated as Council of Experts, is a deliberative body of 86 Mujtahids that is charged with electing and removing the Supreme Leader of Iran and supervising his activities.Members of the assembly are elected from a government-screened list of candidates by...

 and local councils. Results, with a turnout of about 60%, suggested a voter shift toward more moderate policies. According to an editorial in the Kargozaran independent daily newspaper, "The results show that voters have learned from the past and concluded that we need to support.. moderate figures." An Iranian political analyst said that "this is a blow for Ahmadinejad and Mesbah Yazdi's list."

2009 presidential election




On 23 August 2008, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei announced that he "sees Ahmadinejad as president in the next five years," a comment interpreted as indicating support for Ahmadinejad's reelection. 39,165,191 ballots were cast in the election on 12 June 2009, according to Iran's election headquarters. Ahmadinejad won 24,527,516 votes, (62.63%). In second place, Mir-Hossein Mousavi
Mir-Hossein Mousavi
Mir-Hossein Mousavi Khameneh is an Iranian reformist politician, artist and architect who served as the seventy-ninth and last Prime Minister of Iran from 1981 to 1989. He was a Reformist candidate for the 2009 presidential election and eventually the leader of the opposition in the post-election...

, won 13,216,411 (33.75%) of the votes. The election drew unprecedented public interest in Iran.

2009 Iranian election protests



, the election results remain in dispute with both Mousavi and Ahmadinejad and their respective supporters who believe that electoral fraud
Electoral fraud
Electoral fraud is illegal interference with the process of an election. Acts of fraud affect vote counts to bring about an election result, whether by increasing the vote share of the favored candidate, depressing the vote share of the rival candidates or both...

 occurred during the election. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei formally endorsed Ahmadinejad as President on 3 August 2009, and Ahmadinejad was sworn in for a second term on 5 August 2009. Iran's Constitution stipulates term limits of two terms for the office of President. Several Iranian political figures appeared to avoid the ceremony. Former presidents Mohammad Khatami
Mohammad Khatami
Sayyid Mohammad Khātamī is an Iranian scholar, philosopher, Shiite theologian and Reformist politician. He served as the fifth President of Iran from August 2, 1997 to August 3, 2005. He also served as Iran's Minister of Culture in both the 1980s and 1990s...

, and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is an influential Iranian politician and writer, who was the fourth President of Iran. He was a member of the Assembly of Experts until his resignation in 2011...

, who is currently head of the Expediency Discernment Council
Expediency Discernment Council
The Expediency Discernment Council of the System is an administrative assembly appointed by the Supreme Leader and was created upon the revision to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran on 6 February 1988...

, along with opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, did not attend the ceremony. Opposition groups asked protesters on reformist websites and blogs to launch new street demonstrations on the day of the inauguration ceremony. On inauguration day
Inauguration
An inauguration is a formal ceremony to mark the beginning of a leader's term of office. An example is the ceremony in which the President of the United States officially takes the oath of office....

, hundreds of riot police met opposition protesters outside parliament. After taking the oath of office
Oath of office
An oath of office is an oath or affirmation a person takes before undertaking the duties of an office, usually a position in government or within a religious body, although such oaths are sometimes required of officers of other organizations...

, which was broadcast live on Iranian state television
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcaster, or IRIB, , formerly called the National Iranian Radio and Television until the Islamic revolution of 1979, is a giant Iranian corporation in control of radio and television which is among the largest media organizations in Asia and Pacific region, and a regular...

, Ahmadinejad said that he will "protect the official faith, the system of the Islamic revolution and the constitution". France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States announced that they would not send the usual letters of congratulation.

2009 cabinet appointments

Ministry Minister
Agriculture
Agriculture in Iran
Roughly one-third of Iran's total surface area is suited for farmland, but because of poor soil and lack of adequate water distribution in many areas, most of it is not under cultivation....

 
Sadeq Khalilian
Commerce
Ministry of Commerce (Iran)
The Ministry of Commerce of Iran was the main organ of the Government in charge of the regulation and implementation of policies applicable to domestic and foreign trade...

 
Mehdi Ghazanfari
Mehdi Ghazanfari
Mehdi Ghazanfari is an Iranian politician who is the current Minister of Industries and Business since 3 August 2011. He was Minister of Commerce in the second cabinet of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from 9 August 2009 to 3 August 2011.-References:...

Communication and Information Technology
Communications in Iran
Iran’s telecommunications industry is almost entirely state-owned, dominated by the Telecommunication Company of Iran . Fixed-line penetration in 2004 was relatively well-developed by regional standards, standing at 22 lines per 100 people, higher than Egypt with 14 and Saudi Arabia with 15,...

 
Reza Taqipour
Cooperatives
Ministry of Cooperatives (Iran)
The Ministry of Cooperatives established in 1991 and dissolved in 2011, was an Iranian government body responsible for the oversight of Cooperative business in Iran.-External links:*...

 
Mohammad Abbasi
Mohammad Abbasi
Mohammad Abbasi is an Iranian politician who is the current Acting Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports. He was Minister of Cooperatives in the first and second Cabinet of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from 2005 to 2011...

Culture and Islamic Guidance
Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance
The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance is the ministry of Culture of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is responsible for restricting access to any media of which the Islamic Regime in Tehran does not approve....

 
Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini
Defense and Armed Forces Logistics
Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics
The Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics is the defence ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It was formed in 1989 and has control both over Iran's regular forces and over its Revolutionary Guard, particularly bringing the latter under the overall defence umbrella by reducing its...

 
Ahmad Vahidi
Ahmad Vahidi
Ahmad Vahidi is an Iranian politician and former commander of the Revolutionary Guards. He is the current Minister of Defense of Iran, having held the post since August 9, 2009.-Early life:...

Economy and Financial Affairs
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance (Iran)
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finances function are:*acting as the state treasury,*public finance,*economic and financial policy making,*implementing tax policies,*in charge of foreign direct investment,...

 
Shamseddin Hosseini
Shamseddin Hosseini
Seyyed Shamseddin Hosseini is an Iranian politician. He is currently the Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance.Hosseini has previous taught at Islamic Azad University, Payame Noor University and Allameh Tabatabai University....

Education
Ministry of Education (Iran)
The Ministry of Education established in 1964, is an Iranian government body responsible for the oversight of K-12 education in Iran.-External links:*...

 
Hamid-Reza Haji Babaee
Hamid-Reza Haji Babaee
Hamid-Reza Haji Babaee is an Iranian politician who is the current Minister of Education. He was Member of the Parliament of Iran from 1996 until 2009 when he was nominated as Minister of Education by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and was confirmed by Parliament. He was Head of Education Commission in the...

Energy
Energy in Iran
Energy resources in Iran consist of the third largest oil reserves and the second largest natural gas reserves in the world. Iran is in a constant battle to use its energy resources more effectively in the face of subsidization and the need for technological advances in energy exploration and...

 
Majid Namjoo
Majid Namjoo
Majid Namjoo is an Iranian politician who is currently the Minister of Energy since 24 August 2009.He was member of Kerman City Council from 2001 to 2008 and became Deputy Minister of Energy in February 2008...

Foreign Affairs
Minister of Foreign Affairs (Iran)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is an Iranian government ministry. The Minister for Foreign Affairs is the Cabinet member in charge....

 
Manouchehr Mottaki
Manouchehr Mottaki
Manouchehr Mottaki is an Iranian politician and diplomat. He was the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs. Whilst technically appointed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he is considered to be closer to more pragmatic conservative factions and during the 2005 presidential election, he was the campaign...

Health and Medical Education
Ministry of Health and Medical Education
The Ministry of Health and Medical Education has executive responsibility for health and medical education within the Iranian government.Iran's health system is highly centralized, and almost all decisions regarding general...

 
Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi
Housing and Urban Development
Construction in Iran
In recent years, the construction industry of Iran has been thriving due to an increase in national and international investment to the extent that it is now the largest in the Middle East region...

 
Abdolreza Sheikholeslami
Industries and Mines
Industry of Iran
According to a report by the Economist, Iran has been ranked 39th for producing $23 billion of industrial products in 2008. From 2008 to 2009 Iran has leaped to 28th place from 69th place in annual industrial production growth rate. A recent report by the World Fact Book ranks Iran 3rd among...

 
Aliakbar Mehrabian
Aliakbar Mehrabian
Ali Akbar Mehrabian is an Iranian politician who wasMinister of Industries and Mines from 2 November 2007 to 3 August 2011. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has proposed he retain this post in the 2009 cabinet...

Intelligence  Heydar Moslehi
Interior
Ministry of Interior (Iran)
The Ministry of Interior of the Islamic Republic of Iran is in charge of performing, supervising and reporting elections, and policing, among other responsibilities related to the interior....

 
Mostafa Mohammad Najjar
Justice
Ministry of Justice (Iran)
Minister of Justice of the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for prosecuting the government cases. In other words, the justice minister is the attorney-general of the country. However, he has nothing to do with policing which is the responsibility of the Interior minister of the Islamic...

 
Morteza Bakhtiari
Labour and Social Affairs  Ali Nikzad
Ali Nikzad
Ali Nikzad is an Iranian politician and academic and the current Minister of Transportation and Housing. He was Minister of Housing and Urban Development from August 2009 to June 2011. He was also Acting Minister of Roads and Transportation from February to June 2011...

Petroleum
Ministry of Petroleum of Iran
The Ministry of Petroleum manages the oil industry, the producer of oil and petrochemical products. MoP is in charge of all issues pertaining to exploration, extraction, exploitation, distribution and exportation of crude oil and oil products. In addition, according to the "", issuing import...

 
Masoud Mir Kazemi
Masoud Mir Kazemi
Masoud Mir Kazemi is an Iranian politician who was Minister of Petroleum from 2009 to 2011, replacing Gholamhossein Nozari after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected. Kazemi had previously headed Shahed University and headed Iran's Ministry of Commerce...

Roads and Transportation
Transport in Iran
Transport in Iran is inexpensive because of the government's subsidization of the price of gasoline. The downside is economic inefficiency because of highly wasteful consumption patterns, contraband with neighboring countries and air pollution...

 
Hamid Behbahani
Hamid Behbahani
Hamid Behbahani is an Iranian university professor and politician who served as Minister of Roads and Transportation from 2 August 2008 to 1 February 2011 when he was impeached by the Parliament of Iran....

Science, Research, and Technology
Science and technology in Iran
Persia was a cradle of science in earlier times. Persian scientists contributed to the current understanding of nature, medicine, mathematics, and philosophy. Persians made important contributions to algebra and chemistry, invented the wind-power machine, and the first distillation of alcohol...

 
Kamran Daneshjoo
Kamran Daneshjoo
Kamran Daneshjoo is an Iranian university professor who is currently serving as Iran's minister of Science, Research, and Technology.-Education:...

Welfare and Social Security  Sadeq Mahsouli

Ahmadinejad announced controversial ministerial appointments for his second term. Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei
Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei
Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei is a top adviser, and close confident of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He is currently Ahmadinejad's Chief of Staff. He served as the head of the Presidential Center from 2009 to 2011, and was First Vice President of Iran for one week in 2009 before he was ordered...

 was briefly appointed as first vice president, but opposed by a number of Majlis members and by the intelligence minister, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje'i. Mashaei followed orders to resign. Ahmadinejad then appointed Mashaei as chief of staff, and fired Mohseni-Eje'i.

On July 26, 2009, Ahmadinejad's government faced a legal problem after he sacked four ministers. Iran's constitution (Article 136) stipulates that, if more than half of its members are replaced, the cabinet may not meet or act before the Majlis approves the revised membership. The Vice Chairman of the Majlis announced that no cabinet meetings or decisions would be legal, pending such a re-approval.

The main list of 21 cabinet appointments was announced on August 19, 2009. On September 4, Majlis approved 18 of the 21 candidates, and rejected three, including two women. Sousan Keshavarz
Sousan Keshavarz
Sousan Keshavarz was the 2009 nominee of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Minister of Education. She was voted down by the Majlis of Iran on September 3, 2009 with 49 favoring, 209 opposing, and 28 abstaining votes.-Nomination:...

, Mohammad Aliabadi
Mohammad Aliabadi
Mohammad Aliabadi is former Vice President and Head of Physical Education Organization of Iran. He is also President of the National Olympic Committee of Islamic Republic of Iran. As of 14 July 2011, He is Vice President of Olympic Council of Asia.-References:...

, and Fatemeh Ajorlou
Fatemeh Ajorlou
Fatemeh Ajorlou is a conservative female member of the Iranian parliament representing Karaj, near Tehran. She is Rapporteur of the Majlis Women Faction...

 were not approved by Majlis for the Ministries of Education, Energy, and Welfare and Social Security respectively. Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi is the first woman approved by Majlis as a minister in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Economic policy


In Ahmadinejad's first four years as president, Iran's real GDP reflected growth of the economy. Inflation and unemployment have also decreased under Ahmadinejad due to better economic management and ending the unsustainable spending and borrowing patterns of previous administrations . Ahmadinejad has increased spending by 25 percent and has supported subsidies
Subsidy
A subsidy is an assistance paid to a business or economic sector. Most subsidies are made by the government to producers or distributors in an industry to prevent the decline of that industry or an increase in the prices of its products or simply to encourage it to hire more labor A subsidy (also...

 for food and petrol. He also initially refused a gradual increase of petrol prices, saying that after making necessary preparations, such as a development of public transportation system, the government will free up petrol prices after five years. Interest rates were cut by presidential decree to below the inflation rate. One unintended effect of this stimulation of the economy has been the bidding up of some urban real estate prices by two or three times their pre-Ahmadinejad value by Iranians seeking to invest surplus cash and finding few other safe opportunities. The resulting increase in the cost of housing has hurt poorer, non-property owning Iranians, the putative beneficiaries of Ahmadinejad's populist policies. The Management and Planning Organisation, a state body charged with mapping out long-term economic and budget strategy, was broken up and its experienced managers were fired.

In June 2006, 50 Iranian economists wrote a letter to Ahmadinejad that criticized his price interventions to stabilize prices of goods, cement
Cement
In the most general sense of the word, a cement is a binder, a substance that sets and hardens independently, and can bind other materials together. The word "cement" traces to the Romans, who used the term opus caementicium to describe masonry resembling modern concrete that was made from crushed...

, government services, and his decree issued by the High Labor Council and the Ministry of Labor that proposed an increase of workers' salaries by 40 percent. Ahmadinejad publicly responded harshly to the letter and denounced the accusations. Ahmadinejad has called for "middle-of-the-road" compromises with respect to Western-oriented capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 and socialism
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

. Current political conflicts with the United States have caused the central bank to fear increased capital flight due to global isolation
Sanctions against Iran
This article outlines economic, trade, scientific and military sanctions against Iran, which have been imposed by the U.S. government, or under U.S. pressure by the international community through the United Nations Security Council...

. These factors have prevented an improvement of infrastructure
Infrastructure
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

 and capital
Financial capital
Financial capital can refer to money used by entrepreneurs and businesses to buy what they need to make their products or provide their services or to that sector of the economy based on its operation, i.e. retail, corporate, investment banking, etc....

 influx, despite high economic potential. Among those that did not vote for him in the first election, only 3.5 percent said they would consider voting for him in the next election. Mohammad Khoshchehreh
Mohammad Khoshchehreh
Mohammad Khoshchehreh is an Iranian economist and politician.-Political life:Khoshchehreh is a member of Iranian parliament. A former advisor to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, turned out to be one his outspoken critics in the 7th parliament....

, a member of Iranian parliament that campaigned for Ahmadinejad, said that his government "has been strong on populist slogans, but weak on achievement."
President Ahmadinejad has changed almost all of his economic ministers, including oil, industry and economy, since coming to power in 2005. In an interview with Fars News Agency on April 2008, Davoud Danesh Jaafari who acted as minister of economy in President Ahmadinejad’s cabinet, harshly criticized Ahmadinejad’s economic policy: "During my time, there was no positive attitude towards previous experiences or experienced people and there was no plan for the future. Peripheral issues which were not of dire importance to the nation were given priority. Most of the scientific economic concepts like the effect of liquidity on inflation were put in question." In response to these criticisms, Ahmadinejad accused his minister of not being "a man of justice" and declared that the solution to Iran’s economic problem is "the culture of martyrdom". In May 2008, the Petroleum minister of Iran admitted that the government illegally invested 2 billion dollars to import petrol in 2007. At Iranian parliament, he also mentioned that he simply followed the president's order.

While his government had 275 thousand billion toman
Iranian toman
The toman , is a superunit of the official currency of Iran, the rial. Toman, derived from a Mongolian word meaning ten thousand , was the currency of Iran until 1932. It was divided into 10,000 dinar. Between 1798 and 1825, the toman was also subdivided into 8 rial, each of 1250 dinar...

 oil income, the highest in Iranian history, Ahmadinejad’s government had the highest budget deficit since the Iranian revolution.

During his presidency, Ahmadinejad launched a gas rationing plan
2007 Gas Rationing Plan in Iran
2007 Gasoline Rationing Plan in Iran was launched by president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's cabinet to reduce that country's fuel consumption. Although Iran is one of the world's largest producers of petroleum, rapid increases in demand and limited refining capacity has forced the country to import about...

 to reduce the country's fuel consumption. He also instituted cuts in the interest rates that private and public banking facilities could charge. He issued a directive that the Management and Planning Organization
Management and Planning Organisation of Iran
The Management and Planning Organization of Iran was one of the largest governmental establishments in Iran. From 1948 until 2007 it was fully responsible for preparing the country's budget....

 be affiliated to the government. In May 2011 Ahmadinejad announced that he would temporarily run the Oil Ministry.

Family planning and population policy


In October 2006, Ahmadinejad began calling for the scrapping of Iran's existing birth control policies, which discouraged Iranian couples from having more than two children. He told MPs
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 that Iran could cope with 50 million more people than the current 70 million. In November 2010 he urged Iranians to marry and reproduce earlier, "We should take the age of marriage for boys to 20 and for girls to about 16 and 17." His remarks have drawn criticism and been called ill-judged at a time when Iran was struggling with surging inflation and rising unemployment, estimated at around 11 percent. Ahmadinejad’s call was reminiscent of a call for Iranians to have more children made by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
Ruhollah Khomeini
Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini was an Iranian religious leader and politician, and leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution which saw the overthrow of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran...

 in 1979. The policy increased Iran's population by 16 million in seven years but was eventually reversed in response to the resultant economic strain.

In 2008, the government sent the "Family Protection Bill" to the Iranian parliament. Women's rights activists criticized the bill for removing protections from women, such as the requirement that a husband obtain his wife's consent before bringing another wife into the family. Women's rights in Iran are more religiously based than those in secular countries.

Housing



The first legislation to emerge from his newly formed government was a 12 trillion rial
Iranian rial
The rial is the currency of Iran. It is subdivided into 100 dinar but, because of the very low current value of the rial, no fraction of the rial is used in accounting....

 (US$1.3 billion) fund called "Reza's Compassion Fund", named after Shi'a
Shi'a Islam
Shia Islam is the second largest denomination of Islam. The followers of Shia Islam are called Shi'ites or Shias. "Shia" is the short form of the historic phrase Shīʻatu ʻAlī , meaning "followers of Ali", "faction of Ali", or "party of Ali".Like other schools of thought in Islam, Shia Islam is...

 Imam Ali al-Rida
Ali al-Rida
‘Alī ibn Mūsā al-Rizā was the seventh descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the eighth of the Twelve Imams, according to Shia sect of Islam...

. Ahmadinejad's government said this fund would tap Iran's oil
Oil
An oil is any substance that is liquid at ambient temperatures and does not mix with water but may mix with other oils and organic solvents. This general definition includes vegetable oils, volatile essential oils, petrochemical oils, and synthetic oils....

 revenue
Revenue
In business, revenue is income that a company receives from its normal business activities, usually from the sale of goods and services to customers. In many countries, such as the United Kingdom, revenue is referred to as turnover....

s to help young people get jobs, afford marriage, and buy their own homes. The fund also sought charitable donations, with a board of trustees
Trustee
Trustee is a legal term which, in its broadest sense, can refer to any person who holds property, authority, or a position of trust or responsibility for the benefit of another...

 in each of Iran's 30 provinces. The legislation was a response to the cost of urban housing, which is pushing up the national average marital age (currently around 25 years for women and 28 years for men). In 2006 the Iranian parliament rejected the fund.
However, Ahmadinejad ordered the administrative council to execute the plan.

Human rights




According to a report by Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

, "Since President Ahmadinejad came to power, treatment of detainees has worsened in Evin Prison as well as in detention centers operated clandestinely by the Judiciary, the Ministry of Information, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps." Again according to Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

, "Respect for basic human rights in Iran, especially freedom of expression and assembly, deteriorated in 2006. The government routinely tortures and mistreats detained dissidents, including through prolonged solitary confinement." Human Rights Watch described the source of human rights violations in contemporary Iran as coming from the Judiciary, accountable to Ali Khamenei
Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hoseyni Khāmene’i is the Supreme Leader of Iran and the figurative head of the Muslim conservative establishment in Iran and Twelver Shi'a marja...

, and from members directly appointed by Ahmadinejad.

Responses to dissent have varied. Human Rights Watch writes that "the Ahmadinejad government, in a pronounced shift from the policy under former president Mohammed Khatami, has shown no tolerance for peaceful protests and gatherings." In December 2006, Ahmadinejad advised officials not to disturb students who engaged in a protest during a speech of his at the Amirkabir University of Technology
Amirkabir University of Technology
Amirkabir University of Technology , formerly called the Tehran Polytechnic is a public research university located in Tehran, Iran. AUT is one of the most prestigious universities and the first established technical university in Iran...

 in Tehran, although speakers at other protests have included among their complaints that there had been a crackdown on dissent at universities since Ahmadinejad was elected.

In April 2007, the Tehran police, which is under Khamenei's supervision, began a crackdown on women with "improper hijab." This led to criticism from associates of Ahmadinejad.

Universities



In 2006, the Ahmadinejad government reportedly forced numerous Iranian scientists and university professors to resign or to retire. It has been referred to as "second cultural revolution". The policy has been said to replace old professors with younger ones. Some university professors received letters indicating their early retirement unexpectedly. In November 2006, 53 university professors had to retire from Iran University of Science and Technology
Iran University of Science and Technology
The Iran University of Science and Technology is a research institution and university of engineering and science in Iran, offering both undergraduate and postgraduate studies...

.

In 2006, Ahmadinejad's government applied a 50 percent quota for male students and 50 percent for female students in the university entrance exam for medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

, dentistry
Dentistry
Dentistry is the branch of medicine that is involved in the study, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases, disorders and conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area and the adjacent and associated structures and their impact on the human body. Dentistry is widely considered...

 and pharmacy
Pharmacy
Pharmacy is the health profession that links the health sciences with the chemical sciences and it is charged with ensuring the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical drugs...

. The plan was supposed to stop the growing presence of female students in the universities. In a response to critics, Iranian minister of health and medical education, Kamran Bagheri Lankarani
Kamran Bagheri Lankarani
Kamran Bagheri Lankarani M.D., was Iran's Minister of Health and Medical Education.Born in 1965, he finished medical school at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, and attained an advanced fellowship degree in Medicine from the same university. He specializes in gastroenterology.Baqeri-Lankarani...

 argued that there are not enough facilities such as dormitories for female students. Masoud Salehi, president of Zahedan University said that presence of women generates some problems with transportation. Also, Ebrahim Mekaniki, president of Babol University of Medical Sciences
Babol University of Medical Sciences
Babol University of Medical Sciences , is a medical sciences university in the city of Babol, Mazandaran province, Persia .It was founded originally as a school for laboratory technicians in 1962, and was elevated to university status in 1985....

, stated that an increase in the presence of women will make it difficult to distribute facilities in a suitable manner. Bagher Larijani, the president of Tehran University of Medical Sciences
Tehran University of Medical Sciences
- General and History :Tehran University of Medical Sciences is the largest and "most distinguished", and most highly ranked medical school of Iran. In September 2008, the health minister of Iran - General and History :Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS) is the largest and "most...

 made similar remarks. According to Rooz Online
Rooz
Rooz is a Persian and English news website. It is mostly staffed by exiled Iranian journalists including Masoud Behnoud, Ebrahim Nabavi and Nikahang Kowsar with occasional articles by activists and journalists inside Iran, including Shirin Ebadi and Ahmad Zeidabadi...

, the quotas lack a legal foundation and are justified as support for "family" and "religion."

December 2006 student protest


On 11 December 2006, some students disrupted a speech by Ahmadinejad at the Amirkabir University of Technology
Amirkabir University of Technology
Amirkabir University of Technology , formerly called the Tehran Polytechnic is a public research university located in Tehran, Iran. AUT is one of the most prestigious universities and the first established technical university in Iran...

 (Tehran Polytechnic) in Tehran. According to the Iranian Student News Agency, students set fire to photographs of Ahmadinejad and threw firecrackers. The protesters also chanted "death to the dictator." It was the first major public protest against Ahmadinejad since his election. In a statement carried on the students' Web site, they announced that they had been protesting the growing political pressure under Ahmadinejad, also accusing him of corruption, mismanagement, and discrimination. The statement added that "the students showed that despite vast propaganda, the president has not been able to deceive academia." It was also reported that some students were angry about the International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust
International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust
The International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust was a two-day conference that opened on December 11, 2006, in Tehran, Iran. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said the conference sought "neither to deny nor prove the Holocaust.....

.

In response to the students' slogans, the president said: "We have been standing up to dictatorship so that no one will dare to establish dictatorship in a millennium even in the name of freedom. Given the scars inflicted on the Iranian nation by agents of the US and British dictatorship, no one will ever dare to initiate the rise of a dictator." It was reported that even though the protesters broke the TV cameras and threw hand-made bombs at Ahmadinejad, the president asked the officials not to question or disturb the protesters. In his blog, Ahmadinejad described his reaction to the incident as "a feeling of joy" because of the freedom that people enjoyed after the revolution.

One thousand students also protested the day before to denounce the increased pressure on the reformist groups at the university. One week prior, more than two thousand students protested at Tehran University on the country's annual student day, with speakers saying that there had been a crackdown on dissent at universities since Ahmadinejad was elected.

Nuclear program



Ahmadinejad has been a vocal supporter of Iran's nuclear program
Nuclear program of Iran
The nuclear program of Iran was launched in the 1950s with the help of the United States as part of the Atoms for Peace program. The support, encouragement and participation of the United States and Western European governments in Iran's nuclear program continued until the 1979 Iranian Revolution...

, and has insisted that it is for peaceful purposes. He has repeatedly emphasized that building a nuclear bomb
Nuclear weapon
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission bomb test released the same amount...

 is not the policy of his government. He has said that such a policy is "illegal and against our religion." He also added at a January 2006 conference in Tehran that a nation with "culture, logic and civilization" would not need nuclear weapons, and that countries that seek nuclear weapons are those that want to solve all problems by the use of force. In a 2008 interview Ahmadinejad elaborated that countries striving to obtain nuclear weapons are not politically progressive nations and those who possess them and continually make new generations of such bombs are "even more backward".

In April 2006, Ahmadinejad announced that Iran had successfully refined uranium
Uranium
Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element in the actinide series of the periodic table, with atomic number 92. It is assigned the chemical symbol U. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons...

 to a stage suitable for the nuclear fuel cycle
Nuclear fuel cycle
The nuclear fuel cycle, also called nuclear fuel chain, is the progression of nuclear fuel through a series of differing stages. It consists of steps in the front end, which are the preparation of the fuel, steps in the service period in which the fuel is used during reactor operation, and steps in...

. In a speech to students and academics in Mashhad
Mashhad
Mashhad , is the second largest city in Iran and one of the holiest cities in the Shia Muslim world. It is also the only major Iranian city with an Arabic name. It is located east of Tehran, at the center of the Razavi Khorasan Province close to the borders of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Its...

, he was quoted as saying that Iran's conditions had changed completely as it had become a nuclear state and could talk to other states from that stand. On 13 April 2006, Iranian news agency, IRNA, quoted Ahmadinejad as saying that the peaceful Iranian nuclear technology would not pose a threat to any party because "we want peace and stability and we will not cause injustice to anyone and at the same time we will not submit to injustice." Nevertheless, Iran's nuclear policy under Ahmadinejad's administration has received much criticism, spearheaded by the United States and Israel. The accusations include that Iran is striving to obtain nuclear arms and developing long-range firing capabilities—and that Ahmadinejad issued an order to keep UN inspectors from freely visiting the nation's nuclear facilities and viewing their designs, in defiance of an IAEA resolution. Following a May 2009 test launch of a long-range missile
Missile
Though a missile may be any thrown or launched object, it colloquially almost always refers to a self-propelled guided weapon system.-Etymology:The word missile comes from the Latin verb mittere, meaning "to send"...

, Ahmadinejad was quoted as telling the crowd that with its nuclear program, Iran was sending the West a message that "the Islamic Republic of Iran is running the show."

Despite Ahmadinejad's vocal support for the program, the office of the Iranian president is not directly responsible for nuclear policy. It is instead set by the Supreme National Security Council
Supreme National Security Council
Supreme National Security Council is the national security council of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the current secretary of which is Saeed Jalili. This institution was founded during the 1989 revision of the constitution...

. The council includes two representatives appointed by the Supreme Leader
Supreme leader
A supreme leader typically refers to a figure in the highest leadership position of an entity, group, organization, or state, who exercises strong or all-powerful authority over it. In religion, the supreme leader or supreme leaders is God or Gods...

, military officials, and members of the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of government, and reports directly to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei
Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hoseyni Khāmene’i is the Supreme Leader of Iran and the figurative head of the Muslim conservative establishment in Iran and Twelver Shi'a marja...

, who issued a fatwa
Fatwa
A fatwā in the Islamic faith is a juristic ruling concerning Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar. In Sunni Islam any fatwā is non-binding, whereas in Shia Islam it could be considered by an individual as binding, depending on his or her relation to the scholar. The person who issues a fatwā...

 against nuclear weapons in 2005. Khamenei has criticized Ahmadinejad's "personalization" of the nuclear issue.

Ahmadinejad vowed on February 2008, that Iran will not be held back from developing its peaceful nuclear program and has stated that at least 16 different peaceful uses for nuclear technology have so far been identified. In a 2009 interview, when asked by reporter Ann Curry whether he would rule out an Iranian nuclear bomb in the future, he responded: "We have no need for nuclear weapons." When Curry retorted, "So, may I assume, then, your answer to that question is 'no'?" Ahmadinejad repeated his answer, adding "Without such weapons, we are very much able to defend ourselves." Curry then warned Ahmadinejad that, "People will remark that you did not say no." To which Ahmadinejad responded, "You can take from this whatever you want, madam."

In October 2009 the United States, France and Russia proposed a U.N.-drafted deal with Iran regarding its nuclear program, in an effort to find a compromise between Iran's stated need for a nuclear reactor and the concerns of those who are worried that Iran harbors a secret intent on developing a nuclear weapon. After some delay in responding, on October 29, Ahmadinejad seemed to change his tone towards the deal. "We welcome fuel exchange, nuclear co-operation, building of power plants and reactors and we are ready to co-operate," he said in a live broadcast on state television. However, he added that Iran would not retreat "one iota" on its right to a sovereign nuclear program.

Alleged corruption


Ahmadinejad has been criticized for attacking private "plunderers" and "corrupt officials," while engaging in "cronyism and political favouritism". Many of his close associates have been appointed to positions for which they have no obvious qualifications, and "billion dollar no-bid contracts" have been awarded to the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC), an organization with which he is strongly associated.

Other statements



In June 2007, Ahmadinejad was criticized by some Iranian parliament members over his remark about Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 and Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

. According to Aftab News Agency, Ahmadinejad stated: "In the world, there are deviations from the right path: Christianity and Judaism. Dollars have been devoted to the propagation of these deviations. There are also false claims that these [religions] will save mankind. But Islam is the only religion that [can] save mankind." Some members of Iranian parliament criticized these remarks as being fuels to religious war.

Conservative MP Rafat Bayat has accused Ahmadinejad for a decline in observance of the required hijab
Hijab
The word "hijab" or "'" refers to both the head covering traditionally worn by Muslim women and modest Muslim styles of dress in general....

 for women, calling him "not that strict on this issue". Ahmadinejad has been also accused of indecency by people close to Rafsanjani, after he publicly kissed the hand of a woman who used to be his school teacher.

The UN and football stadiums


Two statements that have brought criticism from some religious authorities concern his speech at the United Nations, and the attendance of women at football matches. In a visit to group of Ayatollahs in Qom
Qom
Qom is a city in Iran. It lies by road southwest of Tehran and is the capital of Qom Province. At the 2006 census, its population was 957,496, in 241,827 families. It is situated on the banks of the Qom River....

 after returning from his 2005 speech to the UN General Assembly, Ahmadinejad stated he had "felt a halo over his head" during his speech and that a hidden presence had mesmerized the unblinking audience of foreign leaders, foreign ministers, and ambassadors. According to at least one source (Hooman Majd), this was offensive to the conservative religious leaders because an ordinary man cannot presume a special closeness to God or any of the Imams
Imamah (Shi'a doctrine)
Imāmah is the Shia doctrine of religious, spiritual and political leadership of the Ummah. The Shīa believe that the A'immah are the true Caliphs or rightful successors of Muḥammad, and further that Imams are possessed of divine knowledge and authority as well as being part of the Ahl al-Bayt,...

, nor can he imply the presence of the Mahdi
Muhammad al-Mahdi
Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan al-Mahdī is believed by Twelver Shī‘a Muslims to be the Mahdī, an ultimate savior of humankind and the final Imām of the Twelve Imams...

.

In another statement the next year, Ahmadinejad proclaimed (without consulting the clerics beforehand), that women be allowed into football stadiums to watch male football clubs compete. This proclamation "was quickly overruled" by clerical authorities, one of whom, Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Fazel Lankarani "refused for weeks to meet with President Ahmadinejad" in early 2007.

Iran constitution conflict


In 2008, a serious conflict emerged between the Iranian President and the head of parliament over three laws approved by Iranian parliament: "the agreement for civil and criminal legal cooperation between Iran and Kyrgyzstan", "the agreement to support mutual investment between Iran and Kuwait", and "the law for registration of industrial designs and trademarks". The conflict was so serious that the Iranian leader stepped in to resolve the conflict. Ahmadinejad wrote a letter to parliament speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, furiously denouncing him for an "inexplicable act" in bypassing the presidency by giving the order to implement legislation in an official newspaper. President Ahmadinejad accused the head of parliament of violating Iranian constitutional law. He called for legal action against the Parliament speaker. Haddad-Adel responded to Ahmadinejad accusing him of using inappropriate language in his remarks and letters.

Ali Kordan



In August 2008, Dr Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, appointed Ali Kordan
Ali Kordan
Ali Kordan was an Iranian conservative politician who served in the Revolutionary Guards, the judiciary and as deputy oil minister, before becoming interior minister of Iran in 2008 for just 90 days...

 as Iran's interior minister. Kordan's appointment has been criticized by Iranian parliamentarians, media and analysts after it came to light that a doctoral degree allegedly awarded to Ali Kordan was fabricated, and that the putative issuer of the degree, Oxford University, had no record of Ali Kordan receiving any degree from the University.
It was also revealed that he had been jailed in 1978 for moral charges.
Fabrication of legal documents is punishable in Iranian law with one to three years of imprisonment and in the case of government officials, the maximum sentence (three years) is demanded.

In November 2008, President Ahmadinejad announced that he was against impeachment of Ali Kordan by Iranian parliament. He refused to attend the parliament on the impeachment day. Ali Kordan was expelled from Iranian interior ministry by Iranian parliament on 4 November 2008. 188 MPs voted against Ali Kordan. An impeachment of Kordan would push Ahmadinejad close to having to submit his entire cabinet for review by parliament, which is led by one of his chief political opponents. Iran's constitution requires that step if more than half the cabinet ministers are replaced, and Ahmadinejad has replaced nine of 21.

Conflict with Parliament


On February 2009 after Supreme Audit Court of Iran
Supreme Audit Court of Iran
The Supreme Audit Court of Iran is a government agency of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Located in Tehran, it is supervised by the Iranian Parliament and dates back to 1906....

 reported that $1.058 billion of surplus oil revenue in the (2006–2007) budget hasn't been returned by the government to the national treasury, Ali Larijani
Ali Larijani
Ali Ardashir Larijani is an Iranian philosopher, politician and the chairman of the Iranian parliament. Larijani was the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council from August 15, 2005 to October 20, 2007, appointed to the position by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,replacing Hassan Rowhani...

, Iran's parliamentary
Majlis of Iran
The National Consultative Assembly of Iran , also called The Iranian Parliament or People's House, is the national legislative body of Iran...

 speaker, called for further investigations to make sure the missing funds are returned to the treasury as soon as possible. Ahmadinejad criticized the National Audit Office for what he called its "carelessness", saying the report "incites the people" against the government. The head of the parliament Energy Commission, Hamidreza Katouzian, reported: The government spent $5 billion to import fuel, about $2 billion more than the sum parliament had authorized. Katouzian quoted Iran's Oil Minister, Gholam-Hossein Nozari, as saying that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had ordered the extra purchase.


In May 2011 several members of parliament threatened to initiate impeachment proceedings against Ahmadinejad after his merger of eight government ministries and the firing of three ministers without parliament’s consent. According to the Majles News Web site, MP Mohammad Reza Bahonar
Mohammad Reza Bahonar
Mohammad-Reza Bahonar was the conservative First Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Iran. He is a representative from Kerman.In previous parliaments, he has been elected as a representative from Kerman and Tehran...

 stated, "legal purging starts with questions, which lead to warnings and end with impeachment." On May 25 parliament voted to investigate another allegation, that Ahmadinejad had committed election irregularities by giving cash to up to nine million Iranians before the 2009 presidential elections. The vote came within hours after the allegations appeared in several popular conservative news sites associated with supreme leader Ali Khamenei
Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hoseyni Khāmene’i is the Supreme Leader of Iran and the figurative head of the Muslim conservative establishment in Iran and Twelver Shi'a marja...

, suggesting the supreme leader supported the investigation. The disputes were seen as part of the clash between Ahmadinejad and other conservatives and former supporters, including supreme leader Khamenei, over what the conservatives see as Ahmadinejad's confrontational policies and abuse of power.

"Earthquake Saferoom"


Ahmadinejad was allegedly involved in a 2005 fraud in which he, along with Ali Akbar Mehrabian and Mousa Mazloum, published an invention by Farzan Salimi, claiming it as their own. The idea, for an "earthquake saferoom" (a design for a fortified room in homes in case of disaster) was owned by Farzan Salimi, an Iranian researcher and engineer.
In July 2009, the general court of Tehran convicted Industry Minister Ali Akbar Mehrabian and Mousa Mazloum but did not comment about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's involvement, according to Etemad-Melli daily.

Relations with Supreme Leader


Early in his presidency, Ahmadinejad was sometimes described as "enjoy[ing] the full backing" of the Supreme Leader
Supreme leader
A supreme leader typically refers to a figure in the highest leadership position of an entity, group, organization, or state, who exercises strong or all-powerful authority over it. In religion, the supreme leader or supreme leaders is God or Gods...

 Ali Khamenei
Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hoseyni Khāmene’i is the Supreme Leader of Iran and the figurative head of the Muslim conservative establishment in Iran and Twelver Shi'a marja...

, and even as being his "protege." In Ahmadinejad's 2005 inauguration the supreme leader allowed Ahmadinejad to kiss his hand and cheeks in what was called "a sign of closeness and loyalty," and after the 2009 election fully endorsed Ahmadinejad against protesters. However as early as January 2008 signs of disagreement between the two men developed over domestic policies, and by 2010-11 several sources detected a "growing rift" between Ahmadinejad and Khamenei. The disagreement has been described as centering on Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei
Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei
Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei is a top adviser, and close confident of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He is currently Ahmadinejad's Chief of Staff. He served as the head of the Presidential Center from 2009 to 2011, and was First Vice President of Iran for one week in 2009 before he was ordered...

, a top adviser and close confidant of Ahmadinejad and opponent of "greater involvement of clerics in politics", who was First Vice President of Iran
Vice President of Iran
Vice President of Iran is defined by article 124 of the Iranian constitution, as anyone appointed by the President to lead an organization related to Presidential affairs. , there are 12 Vice Presidents in Iran...

 until being ordered to resign from the cabinet by the supreme leader. In 2009 Ahmadinejad dismissed Intelligence minister Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje'i, an opponent of Mashaei. In April 2011, another Intelligence minister, Heydar Moslehi, resigned after being asked to by Ahmadinejad, but was reinstated by the supreme leader within hours. Ahmadinejad declined to officially back Moslehi's reinstatement for two weeks and in protest engaged in an "11-day walkout" of cabinet meetings, religious ceremonies, and other official functions. Ahmadinejad's actions led to angry public attacks by clerics, parliamentarians and military commanders, who accused him of ignoring orders from the supreme leader. Conservative opponents in parliament launched an "impeachment drive" against him, four websites with ties to Ahmadinejad reportedly were "filtered and blocked", and several people "said to be close" to the president and Mashaei (such as Abbas Amirifar
Abbas Amirifar
Hojjatoleslam Abbas Amirifar is the prayer leader of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and head of the presidential cultural committee. He was arrested in May 2011 on charges of "sorcery" after he produced a controversial film predicting the imminent return of the Mahdi, Hojjatoleslam Abbas...

 and Mohammed Sharif Malekzadeh
Mohammed Sharif Malekzadeh
Mohammed Sharif Malekzadeh is a deputy foreign minister of Iran and a "close ally" of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He was arrested June 23, 2011. No charges were given in the report of his arrest but he has been accused of financial irregularities...

) were arrested on charges of being "magicians" and invoking djinns. On 6 May 2011 it was reported that Ahmadinejad had been given an ultimatum to accept the leader's intervention or resign, and on 8 May he "apparently bowed" to the reinstatement, welcoming back Moslehi to a cabinet meeting. The events have been said to have "humiliated and weakened" Ahmadinejad, though the president has denied that there was any rift between the two, and according to the semiofficial Fars News Agency
Fars News Agency
Fars News Agency is a news agency in Iran. While it describes itself as "Iran's leading independent news agency", news organizations such as CNN and Reuters describe it as a "semi-official" news agency with ties to the government...

 stated that his relationship with the supreme leader "is that of a father and a son."

Foreign relations


During Ahmadinejad's tenure as President of Iran the foreign policy of the country took a different approach from the previous administration. Relations with the West generally soured while relations with other parts of the world, including Africa and Latin America, were on the ascendance. In light of the calls for sanctions on Iran for its nuclear weapons programme, Ahmadinejad and his foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, traveled extensively throughout the two regions, as well as hosted other leaders. Relations with the ALBA states, and Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador, in particular, were most strengthened. Relations with America during the Bush administration and Israel were weakened.

Ahmadinejad is an outspoken critic of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, and United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

.

Israel and Palestine



He abides by Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

's long-standing policy of refusing to recognize Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 as a legitimate state.

He was embroiled in controversy in regards to statements he made about the Holocaust and for commenting that "the occupying regime
Regime
The word regime refers to a set of conditions, most often of a political nature.-Politics:...

" would, according to various translations, be eliminated, or "vanish from the pages of time." The New York Times reported this as a call for the destruction of the State of Israel when the phrase was translated as "wiped off the map". American scholar, public intellectual, and historian of the modern Middle East and South Asia, Juan Cole
Juan Cole
John Ricardo I. "Juan" Cole is an American scholar, public intellectual, and historian of the modern Middle East and South Asia. He is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. As a commentator on Middle Eastern affairs, he has appeared in print and on...

 says the word "map" doesn't even appear in the quote. It has also been claimed that he said that "Israel's regime will be wiped of the map", not the actual state.

He advocates "free elections" for the region, and believes Palestinians
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 need a stronger voice in the region's future. Criticism of him in the West
West
West is a noun, adjective, or adverb indicating direction or geography.West is one of the four cardinal directions or compass points. It is the opposite of east and is perpendicular to north and south.By convention, the left side of a map is west....

 has been coupled with accusations of describing the Holocaust as a myth
Holocaust denial
Holocaust denial is the act of denying the genocide of Jews in World War II, usually referred to as the Holocaust. The key claims of Holocaust denial are: the German Nazi government had no official policy or intention of exterminating Jews, Nazi authorities did not use extermination camps and gas...

 and of statements influenced by "classic anti-Semitic ideas," which has led to accusations of anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism
Antisemitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. According to a 2005 U.S...

, though he has denied these accusations, saying that he "respects Jews very much" and that he was not "passing judgment" on the Holocaust.

On al-Quds Day in September 2010 criticized the Palestinian Authority over its president's decision to renew direct peace talks with Israel saying the talks are "stillborn" and "doomed to fail", urging the Palestinians to continue armed resistance to Israel. He said that Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...

 had no authority to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinians. Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority, fired back, saying, Ahmadinejad "does not represent the Iranian people,..., is not entitled to talk about Palestine, or the President of Palestine"

Lebanon



In October 2010, Ahmadinejad plans to visit Lebanon. The Jerusalem Post reported that he plans to throw a rock towards Israel "to demonstrate his hatred". Hizbullah operatives will provide him with security throughout his visit, and a rock to chuck. According to the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Anbaa, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Bashar al-Assad
Bashar al-Assad is the President of Syria and Regional Secretary of the Ba'ath Party. His father Hafez al-Assad ruled Syria for 29 years until his death in 2000. Al-Assad was elected in 2000, re-elected in 2007, unopposed each time.- Early Life :...

 advised Ahmadinejad not to visit southern Lebanon. In response, Ahmadinejad expounded the "strategic importance for him because southern Lebanon is Iran's border with Israel".

United States


In September 2010 he caused yet-another controversy at the 65th session of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

 by claiming that most people believed the United States government was behind
9/11 conspiracy theories
9/11 conspiracy theories are theories that disagree with the widely accepted account that the September 11 attacks were perpetrated solely by al-Qaeda. These theories arose because of what proponents of the conspiracy theories believe to be inconsistencies in the official conclusions or some...

 the 9/11 attacks and later called for an inquiry, stating: "The fact-finding mission can shed light on who the perpetrators were, who is al-Qaeda... where does it exist? Who was it backed by and supported? All these should come to light." The speech triggered a mass walkout, and the U.S. president Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 described the claims as "inexcuseable", "offensive" and "hateful". In 2010, Ahmadinejad reiterated the 9/11 conspiracy, and wrote:

"Establishing an independent and impartial committee of investigation, which would determine the roots and causes of the regrettable event of 9/11, is the demand of all the peoples of the region and the world. [...] Any opposition to this legal and human demand means that 9/11 was premeditated in order to achieve the goals of occupation and of confrontation with the nations.
He made similar comments in 2011.

Ahmadinejad was criticized for his claims in an article appearing in Al Queada's magazine. The article claimed Ahmadinejad was jealous
JEALOUS
"Jealous" is the first single by Dir En Grey and was released on May 10, 1998. The music videos of the title track and the B-side "Unknown・・・Despair・・・a Lost" are featured on the VHS Mousou Toukakugeki. A piano-vocal duet version of "Jealous" was later included on the "[KR] Cube" single...

 of Al Queada.

Personal life


He was married to Fatemeh Sadat Farahi on 12 June 1981 in Tehran
Tehran
Tehran , sometimes spelled Teheran, is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With an estimated population of 8,429,807; it is also Iran's largest urban area and city, one of the largest cities in Western Asia, and is the world's 19th largest city.In the 20th century, Tehran was subject to...

. Farahi was a classmate of Ahmadinejad when he studied at the Iran University of Science and Technology
Iran University of Science and Technology
The Iran University of Science and Technology is a research institution and university of engineering and science in Iran, offering both undergraduate and postgraduate studies...

. They have three children, including one daughter, Fatemeh, and two sons, Mehdi and Alireza. His older son, Mehdi, married the daughter of Ahmadinejad's chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei
Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei
Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei is a top adviser, and close confident of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He is currently Ahmadinejad's Chief of Staff. He served as the head of the Presidential Center from 2009 to 2011, and was First Vice President of Iran for one week in 2009 before he was ordered...

 in 2007, and his younger son, Alireza, is married to the niece of former military general
Military of Iran
The Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran include the IRIA and the IRGC and the Police Force .These forces total about 545,000 active personnel . All branches of armed forces fall under the command of General Headquarters of Armed Forces...

, Mahmoud Kaveh
Mahmoud Kaveh
General Mahmoud Kaveh was an Iranian commander of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution and one of the main figures in Iran-Iraq War.-Early life:...

. All of his children studied at the Amirkabir University of Technology
Amirkabir University of Technology
Amirkabir University of Technology , formerly called the Tehran Polytechnic is a public research university located in Tehran, Iran. AUT is one of the most prestigious universities and the first established technical university in Iran...

 (Tehran Polytechnic). His son in law is Mehdi Khorshidi.

See also


  • 2006 Iranian sumptuary law controversy
    2006 Iranian sumptuary law controversy
    On May 19, 2006, the National Post of Canada published pieces by Amir Taheri and Chris Wattie alleging that the Iranian parliament had passed a sumptuary law mandating a national dress code for all Iranians, Muslim and non-Muslim alike....

  • Advisors to the president: Hamid Mowlana
    Hamid Mowlana
    Hamid Mowlana is an Iranian-American advisor to the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad whom he has warned against a "soft war" against Iran launched by the United States.-Education and academic career:...

    , Mohammad-Ali Ramin
    Mohammad-Ali Ramin
    Mohammad-Ali Ramin is the deputy culture minister for press in Iran and was organisator of the International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust. He is also an Iranian political analyst, and the head of a self-made group called "Nuclei of Sacrificers for Velayat"...

    , Ali Akbar Javanfekr
    Ali Akbar Javanfekr
    Ali Akbar Javanfekr is a senior Iranian politician and the presidential advisor for press affairs and as of 19 December 2010, He was Managing-Director of IRNA from 1 November 2010 until being sentenced to a year in prison on charges of "publishing materials contrary to Islamic norms," 20 November...

  • Ayatollah Mohammad-Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi
  • Politics of Iran
    Politics of Iran
    The politics of Iran take place in a framework of theocracy guided by an Islamist ideology. The December 1979 constitution, and its 1989 amendment, define the political, economic, and social order of the Islamic Republic of Iran, declaring that Shi'a Islam of the Twelver school of thought is...


Further reading


External links



  • People Who Mattered: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Time
    Time (magazine)
    Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

    , 16 December 2006
  • The Results As They Came In, Andrew Sullivan
    Andrew Sullivan
    Andrew Michael Sullivan is an English author, editor, political commentator and blogger. He describes himself as a political conservative. He has focused on American political life....

    , The Atlantic, 13 June 2009

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