Mohammad Khatami

Mohammad Khatami

Overview
Sayyid Mohammad Khātamī is an 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...

ian scholar, philosopher, Shiite theologian and Reformist politician
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

. He served as the fifth President of Iran
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...

 from August 2, 1997 to August 3, 2005. He also served as Iran's Minister of Culture
Minister of culture
A culture minister is a Cabinet position in some governments responsible for protecting the national heritage of a country and promoting cultural expression....

 in both the 1980s and 1990s. He is currently one of the leaders of the Iranian Green Movement, and an outspoken critic of the President Ahmadinejad's government.

Hitherto little known, Khatami attracted global attention during his first election to the presidency when he captured almost 70% of the vote.
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Encyclopedia
Sayyid Mohammad Khātamī is an 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...

ian scholar, philosopher, Shiite theologian and Reformist politician
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

. He served as the fifth President of Iran
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...

 from August 2, 1997 to August 3, 2005. He also served as Iran's Minister of Culture
Minister of culture
A culture minister is a Cabinet position in some governments responsible for protecting the national heritage of a country and promoting cultural expression....

 in both the 1980s and 1990s. He is currently one of the leaders of the Iranian Green Movement, and an outspoken critic of the President Ahmadinejad's government.

Hitherto little known, Khatami attracted global attention during his first election to the presidency when he captured almost 70% of the vote. Khatami had run on a platform of liberalization and reform. During his two terms as president, Khatami advocated freedom of expression, tolerance and civil society
Civil society
Civil society is composed of the totality of many voluntary social relationships, civic and social organizations, and institutions that form the basis of a functioning society, as distinct from the force-backed structures of a state , the commercial institutions of the market, and private criminal...

, constructive diplomatic relations with other states including those in the Asia and European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, and an economic policy that supported a free market
Free market
A free market is a competitive market where prices are determined by supply and demand. However, the term is also commonly used for markets in which economic intervention and regulation by the state is limited to tax collection, and enforcement of private ownership and contracts...

 and foreign investment.

Khatami is known for his proposal of Dialogue Among Civilizations
Dialogue Among Civilizations
Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami introduced the idea of Dialogue Among Civilizations as a response to Samuel P. Huntington’s theory of a Clash of Civilizations.-Introduction:...

. 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...

 proclaimed the year 2001 as the United Nations' Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations, on Khatami's suggestion.

On February 8, 2009, Khatami announced that he would run in the 2009 presidential election
Iranian presidential election, 2009
Iran's tenth presidential election was held on 12 June 2009, with incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad running against three challengers. The next morning the Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran's official news agency, announced that with two-thirds of the votes counted, Ahmadinejad had won the election...

. On March 16, he announced he was withdrawing from the race in favor of his long-time friend and adviser, former Prime Minister of Iran, 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...

.

In October 2009, the award committee of the Global Dialogue Prize declared Dariush Shayegan and Mohammad Khatami as joint winners of the inaugural award, "for their work in developing and promoting the concept of a 'dialogue among cultures and civilizations' as new paradigm of cultural subjectivity and as new paradigm of international relations." The Global Dialogue Prize is one of the world's most significant recognitions for research in the Humanities, honoring "excellence in research and research communication on the conditions and content of a global intercultural dialogue on values".. In January 2010 Mohammad Khatami stated that "he was not in the position to accept the award", and the prize was given to Dariush Shayegan alone.

Personal life


Khatami was born on October 14, 1943, in the small town of Ardakan
Ardakan
Ardakan is a city in and the capital of Ardakan County, Yazd Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 51,349, in 13,730 families.Ardakan is the second major city of Yazd Province. It was established in the 12th century in the Zardug region...

, in Yazd Province
Yazd Province
Yazd Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the centre of the country, and its administrative center is the city of Yazd.The province has an area of 131,575 km², and according to the most recent divisions of the country, is divided into eleven counties: Maybod, Mehreez, Taft,...

. He married Zohreh Sadeghi, daughter of a famous professor of religious law, and niece of Imam Musa al-Sadr
Musa al-Sadr
For the Twelver Shī‘ah Imām, see Mūsá al-KāżimMūsá aṣ-Ṣadr , also Musā-ye Sader and Moussa Sadr), was an Iranian-Lebanese philosopher and Shī‘ah religious leader who disappeared in August 1978...

, in 1974 (at the age of 31). They have two daughters and one son: Leila (born 1975), Narges (born 1982), and Emad (born 1988).

Khatami's father, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khatami
Ruhollah Khatami
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khatami was a senior Iranian cleric in the city of Yazd..In July 1982, he was appointed as prayer leader in the central Iranian city of Yazd by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini...

, was a high ranking cleric and the Khateeb (the one who delivers the sermon for Friday prayers) in the city of Yazd
Yazd
Yazd is the capital of Yazd Province in Iran, and a centre of Zoroastrian culture. The city is located some 175 miles southeast of Isfahan. At the 2006 census, the population was 423,006, in 114,716 families....

 in the early years of the Iranian Revolution
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...

.

Khatami's brother, Dr. Mohammad Reza Khatami
Mohammad Reza Khatami
Seyyed Mohammad Reza Khatami is an Iranian politician and nephrologist.He was the first Secretary-General of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, the largest Iranian reformist party. He is now a member of the central council of the party...

, was elected as Tehran's first member of parliament in the 6th term of Majlis
Majlis
' , is an Arabic term meaning "a place of sitting", used in the context of "council", to describe various types of special gatherings among common interest groups be it administrative, social or religious in countries with linguistic or cultural connections to Islamic countries...

, during which he served as deputy speaker of the parliament. He also served as the secretary-general of Islamic Iran Participation Front
Islamic Iran Participation Front
The Islamic Iran Participation Front is a reformist political party in Iran...

 (Iran's largest reformist party) for several years. Mohammad Reza is married to Zahra Eshraghi
Zahra Eshraghi
Zahra Eshraghi is an Iranian feminist and human rights activist. She is the granddaughter of Ayatollah Khomeini, and wife of Mohammad Reza Khatami , former head of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, the main reformist party in Iran.Zahra Eshraghi wants the wearing of headscarves to no longer...

, granddaughter of Ayatollah Khomeini (founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran) who is a feminist human rights activist.

Khatami's other brother, Ali Khatami
Ali Khatami
Ali Khatami is the younger brother of former Iranian president, Mohammed Khatami, and served as his chief of staff during his second term in office....

, a businessman with a master's degree in Industrial Engineering
Industrial engineering
Industrial engineering is a branch of engineering dealing with the optimization of complex processes or systems. It is concerned with the development, improvement, implementation and evaluation of integrated systems of people, money, knowledge, information, equipment, energy, materials, analysis...

 from Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

, served as the President's Chief of Staff during President Khatami's second term in office, where he kept an unusually low profile.

Khatami's eldest sister, Fatemeh Khatami, was elected as the first representative of the people of Ardakan
Ardakan
Ardakan is a city in and the capital of Ardakan County, Yazd Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 51,349, in 13,730 families.Ardakan is the second major city of Yazd Province. It was established in the 12th century in the Zardug region...

 (Khatami's hometown) in 1999 city council
City and Village Councils of Iran
City and Village Councils are local councils which are elected by public vote in all cities and villages throughout Iran....

 elections.

Mohammad Khatami is not related to Ahmad Khatami
Ahmad Khatami
Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami is a senior Iranian Ayatollah, as well as a senior member of the Assembly of Experts. In December of 2005, Ali Khamenei appointed him as Tehran’s substitute Friday prayer leader.He was born in the town of Nīr, Northern Iran...

, a hardline cleric and Provisional Friday Prayer Leader of Tehran.

Khatami received a B.A. in Western philosophy
Western philosophy
Western philosophy is the philosophical thought and work of the Western or Occidental world, as distinct from Eastern or Oriental philosophies and the varieties of indigenous philosophies....

 from Isfahan University, but left academia while studying for a Master's degree
Master's degree
A master's is an academic degree granted to individuals who have undergone study demonstrating a mastery or high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice...

 in Educational Sciences
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 at Tehran University and went to 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....

 to complete his previous studies in Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic sciences. He studied there for seven years and completed the courses to the highest level, Ijtihad
Ijtihad
Ijtihad is the making of a decision in Islamic law by personal effort , independently of any school of jurisprudence . as opposed to taqlid, copying or obeying without question....

. After that, he went to Germany to chair the Islamic Centre
Islamic Centre Hamburg
The Islamic Centre Hamburg is one of the oldest Shia mosques in Germany and Europe. Established in Hamburg, in northern Germany, in the late 1950s by a group of Iranian emigrants and business people it rapidly developed into one of the leading Shia centres in the Western world.Many leading...

 in Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

, where he stayed until the Iranian revolution
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...

.

Before serving as president, Khatami had been a representative in the parliament
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...

 from 1980 to 1982, supervisor of the Kayhan Institute
Kayhan
Kayhan is an influential newspaper in Iran. Directly under the supervision of the Office of the Supreme Leader, it is regarded to be "the most conservative Iranian newspaper."...

, Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance (1982–1986), and then for a second term from 1989 to May 24, 1992 (when he resigned), the head of the National Library of Iran
National Library of Iran
The National Library of Iran is located in Tehran, Iran, with several branches are scattered throughout the city.Prior to the library's official inauguration in 1937, other libraries existed that performed the same function informally. The first prototype of a national library in Iran was the...

 from 1992 to 1997, and a member of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution.

He is also a member and chairman of the Central Council of the Association of Combatant Clerics.

Besides his native language Persian, Khatami speaks Arabic, English and German.

Presidency


Running on a reform agenda, Khatami was elected president on May 23, 1997 in what many have described as a remarkable election. Voter turnout was nearly 80%. Despite limited television airtime, most of which went to conservative Speaker of Parliament and favored candidate Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri, Khatami received 70 percent of the vote. "Even in Qom, the center of theological training in Iran and a conservative stronghold, 70% of voters cast their ballots for Khatami." He was re-elected on June 8, 2001 for a second term and stepped down on August 3, 2005 after serving his maximum two consecutive terms according to the Islamic Republic's constitution.

Khatami supporters have been described as a "coalition of strange bedfellows, including traditional leftists, ... business leaders who wanted the state to open up the economy and allow more foreign investment" and "women and younger voters."

The day of his election, the 2nd of Khordad, 1376, in the Iranian calendar
Iranian calendar
The Iranian calendars or sometimes called Persian calendars are a succession of calendars invented or used for over two millennia in Greater Iran...

, is regarded as the starting date of "reforms" in Iran. His followers are therefore usually known as the "2nd of Khordad Movement".

Khatami is regarded as Iran's first reformist president, since the focus of his campaign was on the rule of law, democracy
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

 and the inclusion of all Iranians in the political decision-making process. However, his policies of reform led to repeated clashes with the hardline and conservative Islamists in the Iranian government, who control powerful governmental organizations like the Guardian Council
Guardian Council
The Guardian Council of the Constitution , also known as the Guardian Council or Council of Guardians, is an appointed and constitutionally-mandated 12-member council that wields considerable power and influence in the Islamic Republic of Iran....

, whose members are appointed by the Supreme Leader. Khatami lost most of those clashes, and by the end of his presidency many of his followers had grown disillusioned with him.

As President, according to the Iranian political system, Khatami was outranked 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...

. Thus, Khatami had no legal authority over key state institutions: the armed forces, the police, the army, the revolutionary guards, the state radio and television, the prisons, etc. (See 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...

).

Khatami presented the so called "twin bills" to the parliament during his term in office, these two pieces of proposed legislation would have introduced small but key changes to the national election laws of Iran and also presented a clear definition of the president's power to prevent constitutional violations by state institutions. Khatami himself described the "twin bills" as the key to the progress of reforms in Iran. The bills were approved by the parliament but were eventually vetoed by the Guardian Council.

Economic policy


Khatami's economic policies followed the previous government's commitment to industrialization. At a macro-economic level, Khatami continued the liberal policies that Rafsanjani had embarked on in the state's first five year economic development plan (1990–1995). On April 10, 2005 Khatami cited economic development, large-scale operations of the private sector in the country's economic arena and the six percent economic growth as among the achievements of his government. He allocated $5 billion to the private sector for promoting the economy, adding that the value of contracts signed in this regard has reached $10 billion.

A year into his first term as president of Iran, Khatami acknowledged Iran's economic challenges, stating that the economy was, "chronically ill ... and it will continue to be so unless there is fundamental restructuring."

For much of his first term, Khatami saw through the implementation of Iran's second five-year development plan. On 15 September 1999, Khatami presented a new five-year plan to the Majlis. Aimed at the period from 2000–2004, the plan called for economic reconstruction in a broader context of social and political development. The specific economic reforms included "an ambitious program to privatize several major industries ... the creation of 750,000 new jobs per year, average annual real GDP growth of six percent over the period, reduction in 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 basic commodities ... plus a wide range of fiscal and structural reforms." Unemployment remained a major problem, with Khatami's five-year plan lagging behind in job creation. Only 300,000 new jobs were created in the first year of the plan, well short of the 750,000 that the plan called for. The 2004 World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 report on Iran concludes that "after 24 years marked by internal post-revolutionary strife, international isolation
International isolation
International isolation is a penalty applied by the international community or a sizeable or powerful group of countries, like the United Nations, towards one nation, government or people group...

, and deep economic volatility, Iran is slowly emerging from a long period of uncertainty and instability."

At the macroeconomic level, real GDP rose from 2.4 percent in 1997 to 5.9 percent in 2000. Unemployment was reduced from 16.2 percent of the labor force to less than 14 percent. The consumer price index fell to less than 13 percent from more than 17 percent. Both public and private investments increased in the energy sector, the building industry, and other sectors of the country's industrial base. The country's external debt was cut from $12.1 billion to $7.9 billion, its lowest level since the Iran-Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 cease-fire. The World Bank granted $232 million for health and sewage projects after a hiatus of about seven years. The government, for the first time since the 1979 wholesale financial nationalization, authorized the establishment of two private banks and one private insurance company. The OECD lowered the risk factor for doing business in Iran to four from six (on a scale of seven).

The government's own figures put the number of people under the absolute poverty line in 2001 at 15.5 percent of the total population — down from 18 percent in 1997, and those under relative poverty at 25 percent, thus classifying some 40 percent of the people as poor. Private estimates indicate higher figures.

Among 155 countries in a 2001 world survey, Iran under Khatami was 150th in terms of openness to the global economy. On 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...

' Human Development scale, Iran ranked 90th out of 162 countries, only slightly better than its previous position at 97 out of 175 countries four years earlier. The overall risk of doing business in Iran improved only marginally from "D" to "C."

Foreign policy



During Khatami's presidency, Iran's foreign policy began a process of moving from confrontation to conciliation. In Khatami's notion of foreign policy
Policy
A policy is typically described as a principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcome. The term is not normally used to denote what is actually done, this is normally referred to as either procedure or protocol...

, there was no "clash of civilizations
Clash of Civilizations
The Clash of Civilizations is a theory, proposed by political scientist Samuel P. Huntington, that people's cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world....

", he favoured instead a "dialogue among civilizations
Dialogue Among Civilizations
Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami introduced the idea of Dialogue Among Civilizations as a response to Samuel P. Huntington’s theory of a Clash of Civilizations.-Introduction:...

". Relations with the US remained marred by mutual suspicion and distrust, but during Khatami's two terms, Tehran increasingly made efforts to play a greater role in the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 region and beyond.

As President, Khatami met with many influential figures including Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

, Koichiro Matsuura
Koichiro Matsuura
is a Japanese diplomat. He is the former Director-General of UNESCO. He was first elected in 1999 to a six-year term and reelected on 12 October 2005 for four years, following a reform instituted by the 29th session of the General Conference...

, Jacques Chirac
Jacques Chirac
Jacques René Chirac is a French politician who served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. He previously served as Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1988 , and as Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.After completing his studies of the DEA's degree at the...

, Johannes Rau
Johannes Rau
Johannes Rau was a German politician of the SPD. He was President of Germany from 1 July 1999 until 30 June 2004, and Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia from 1978 to 1998.-Education and work:...

, Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

, Abdulaziz Bouteflika and Hugo Chávez
Hugo Chávez
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías is the 56th and current President of Venezuela, having held that position since 1999. He was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when he became the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela...

. In 2003 Khatami refused to meet militant Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

After the 2003 earthquake in Bam
Bam, Iran
Bam is a city in and the capital of Bam County, Kerman Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 73,823, in 19,572 families.The modern Iranian city of Bam surrounds the Bam citadel. Before the 2003 earthquake the official population count of the city was roughly 43,000. There are...

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

's offer of assistance. On April 8, 2005, Khatami sat near Iranian-born Israeli President
President of Israel
The President of the State of Israel is the head of state of Israel. The position is largely an apolitical ceremonial figurehead role, with the real executive power lying in the hands of the Prime Minister. The current president is Shimon Peres who took office on 15 July 2007...

 Moshe Katsav
Moshe Katsav
Moshe Katsav is an Israeli politician. He served as the eighth President of Israel, a leading Likud member of the Israeli Knesset, and a Cabinet Minister in its government....

 during the funeral
Funeral of Pope John Paul II
The funeral of Pope John Paul II was held on 8 April 2005, six days after his death on 2 April. The funeral was followed by the novemdiales devotional in which the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches observe nine days of mourning....

 of Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

 because of alphabetical order. Later, Katsav claimed that he shook hands and spoke with Khatami. Katsav himself is in origin an Iranian Jew, and from a part of Iran close to Khatami's home; he stated that they had spoken about their home province. That would make this incident the first official political contact between Iran and Israel since diplomatic ties were severed in 1979.
However, after he returned to Iran, Khatami was subject to harsh criticism from conservatives for having 'recognised' Israel by speaking to its president. Subsequently, the country's state-run media reported that Khatami strongly denied shaking hands and chatting with Katsav.

In 2003, Iran approached the United States with proposals to negotiate all outstanding issues including the nuclear issue and a two-state settlement for Israel and the Palestinians.

Currency crisis


During 1995-2005, Khatami's administration successfully reduced the rate of fall in the value of the Iranian Rial bettering even the record of 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...

. Nevertheless, the currency continued to fall from 2,046 to 9,005 to the US dollar during his term as president.

Khatami and Iran's 2004 parliamentary election


In February 2004 Parliament elections, the Guardian Council
Guardian Council
The Guardian Council of the Constitution , also known as the Guardian Council or Council of Guardians, is an appointed and constitutionally-mandated 12-member council that wields considerable power and influence in the Islamic Republic of Iran....

 banned thousands of candidates, including most of the reformist members of the parliament and all the candidates of the Islamic Iran Participation Front
Islamic Iran Participation Front
The Islamic Iran Participation Front is a reformist political party in Iran...

 party from running. This led to a win by the conservatives of at least 70% of the seats. Approximately 60% of the eligible voting population participated in the elections.

Khatami recalled his strong opposition against holding an election his government saw as unfair and not free. He also narrated the story of his visit to the Supreme Leader, Khamenei, together with the Parliament's spokesman (considered the head of the legislature) and a list of conditions they had handed him before they could hold the elections. The list, he said, was then passed on to the Guardian Council, the legal supervisor and major obstacle to holding free and competitive elections in recent years. The members of the Guardian Council are appointed directly by the Supreme Leader and were considered to be applying his will. "But", Khatami said, "the Guardian Council kept neither the Supreme Leader's nor its own word [...] and we were faced with a situation in which we had to choose between holding the election or risking huge unrest [...] and so damaging the regime." At this point, student protesters repeatedly chanted the slogan "Jannati
Ahmad Jannati
Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati Massah is a hardline Iranian politician, fundamentalist Shi'i cleric and a founding member of Haghani school with close ties with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Mesbah-Yazdi...

 is the nation's enemy", referring to the chairman of the Guardian Council. Khatami replied, "If you are the representative of the nation, then we are the nation's enemy." However, after a clarification by students stating that "Jannati, not Khatami," he took advantage of the opportunity to claim a high degree of freedom in Iran.

When the Guardian Council announced the final list of candidates on January 30, 125 Reformist members of parliament declared that they would boycott the election
Election boycott
An election boycott is the boycotting of an election by a group of voters, each of whom abstains from voting.Boycotting may be used as a form of political protest where voters feel that electoral fraud is likely, or that the electoral system is biased against its candidates, or that the polity...

 and resign their seats, and the Reformist interior minister declared that the election would not be held on the scheduled date, February 20. However, Khatami then announced that the election would be held on time, and he rejected the resignations of his cabinet ministers and provincial governors. These actions paved the way for the election to be held and signaled a split between the radical and moderate wings of the Reformist movement.

Dialogue Among Civilizations


Following earlier works by renowned philosopher Dariush Shayegan
Dariush Shayegan
Dariush Shayegan is one of Iran's prominent thinkers, cultural theorists and comparative philosophers.Shayegan studied at Sorbonne University in Paris...

, President Khatami introduced the theory of Dialogue Among Civilizations
Dialogue Among Civilizations
Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami introduced the idea of Dialogue Among Civilizations as a response to Samuel P. Huntington’s theory of a Clash of Civilizations.-Introduction:...

 as a response to Samuel Huntington
Samuel Huntington
Samuel Huntington may refer to:* Samuel Huntington , American jurist, statesman, and revolutionary leader* Samuel H. Huntington , American jurist* Samuel P. Huntington , American political scientist...

's theory of Clash of Civilizations
Clash of Civilizations
The Clash of Civilizations is a theory, proposed by political scientist Samuel P. Huntington, that people's cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world....

. After introducing the concept of his theory in several international societies (most importantly the U.N.) the theory gained a lot of international support.
Consequently 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...

 proclaimed the year 2001 as the United Nations' Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations
Dialogue Among Civilizations
Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami introduced the idea of Dialogue Among Civilizations as a response to Samuel P. Huntington’s theory of a Clash of Civilizations.-Introduction:...

, as per Khatami's suggestion. Pleading for the moralization of politics, Khatami argued that "The political translation of dialogue among civilizations
Dialogue Among Civilizations
Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami introduced the idea of Dialogue Among Civilizations as a response to Samuel P. Huntington’s theory of a Clash of Civilizations.-Introduction:...

 would consist in arguing that culture, morality and art must prevail on politics."
President Khatami's call for a dialogue among civilizations elicited a published reply from an American author, Anthony J. Dennis, who served as the originator, contributor and editor of an historic and unprecedented collection of letters addressing all facets of Islamic-Western and U.S.-Iranian relations entitled LETTERS TO KHATAMI: A Reply To The Iranian President's Call For A Dialogue Among Civilizations which was published in the U.S. by Wyndham Hall Press in July, 2001 . To date, this book is the only published reply Khatami has ever received from the West.

Khatami as a scholar


Khatami's main research field is political philosophy
Political philosophy
Political philosophy is the study of such topics as liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it...

. One of Khatami's academic mentors was Javad Tabatabaei
Javad Tabatabaei
Dr. Javad Tabatabai is a political philosopher, historian and university professor.Tabatabai studied law at Tehran University. He then shifted to philosophy and did his doctorate works at Sorbonne University. Tabatabai was a professor of philosophy at University of Strasbourg as well as Tehran...

, an Iranian political philosopher. Later on Khatami became a University lecturer at Tarbiat Modarres University, where he taught political philosophy. Khatami also published a book on political philosophy in 1999. The ground he covers is the same as that covered by Javad Tabatabaei: the Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

nizing adaptation of Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 political philosophy by Farabi (d. 950), its synthesis of the "eternal wisdom" of Persian statecraft by Abu'l-Hasan Amiri (d. 991) and Mushkuya Razi (d. 1030), the juristic theories of al-Mawardi and Ghazali, and Nizam al-Mulk's treatise on statecraft. He ends with a discussion of the revival of political philosophy in Safavid Isfahan
Isfahan (city)
Isfahan , historically also rendered in English as Ispahan, Sepahan or Hispahan, is the capital of Isfahan Province in Iran, located about 340 km south of Tehran. It has a population of 1,583,609, Iran's third largest city after Tehran and Mashhad...

 in the second half of the 17th century.

Further, Khatami shares with Tabatabaei the idea of the "decline" of Muslim political thought beginning at the very outset, after Farabi.
Like Tabatabaei, Khatami brings in the sharply contrasting Aristotelian
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

 view of politics to highlight the shortcomings of Muslim political thought. Khatami has also lectured on the decline in Muslim political thought in terms of the transition from political philosophy to royal policy (siyasat-i shahi) and its imputation to the prevalence of "forceful domination" (taghallub) in Islamic history.

In his "Letter for Tomorrow", he wrote:

Post-presidential career


After his presidency, Khatami founded two NGOs which he currently heads:
  • International Institute for Dialogue among Cultures & Civilizations. In Persian
    Persian language
    Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

    : موسسه بین المللی گفتگوی فرهنگها و تمدنها. This institute is a private (non-governmental) institute that was founded by Mr. Khatami after the end of his presidency and it is not to be confused with a center with a similar name operated by the foreign ministry of Iran. The European branch of Mr. Khatami's institute is headquartered in Geneva and has been registered as Foundation for Dialogue among Civilizations.

  • Baran Foundation. BARAN meaning "rain" is an acronym in Persian for "Foundation for Freedom, Growth and Development of Iran" . This is also a private (non-governmental) institute founded by Khatami after the end of his presidency (registration announced on 9 September 2005) and a group of his former colleagues during his presidency. This institute is focused on domestic rather than international activities.


Notable events in Khatami's career after his presidency include:
  • On September 2, 2005, 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...

     Secretary-General
    United Nations Secretary-General
    The Secretary-General of the United Nations is the head of the Secretariat of the United Nations, one of the principal organs of the United Nations. The Secretary-General also acts as the de facto spokesperson and leader of the United Nations....

     Kofi Annan
    Kofi Annan
    Kofi Atta Annan is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the UN from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2006...

     appoints Mohammad Khatami as a member of the Alliance of Civilizations
    Alliance of Civilizations
    The Alliance of Civilizations is an initiative proposed by the Prime Minister of the Government of Spain, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, at the 59th General Assembly of the United Nations in 2005. It was co-sponsored by the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan...

    .
  • On September 28, 2005, Khatami retires, after 29 years of service in the government.
  • On November 14, 2005, Mohammad Khatami urges all religious leaders to fight for the abolishment of atomic and chemical weapons.
  • On January 30, 2006, Mohammad Khatami officially inaugurates the office of "International Center of Dialogue Among Civilizations
    Dialogue Among Civilizations
    Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami introduced the idea of Dialogue Among Civilizations as a response to Samuel P. Huntington’s theory of a Clash of Civilizations.-Introduction:...

    ". An NGO with offices in Iran and Europe that he will be heading, after his retirement from the government.
  • On February 15, 2006, during a press interview Mohammad Khatami announces the formal registration of the European office of his Institute for Dialogue among Civilizations in Geneva
    Geneva
    Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

    .
  • On February 28, 2006, while attending a conference of the Alliance of Civilizations
    Alliance of Civilizations
    The Alliance of Civilizations is an initiative proposed by the Prime Minister of the Government of Spain, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, at the 59th General Assembly of the United Nations in 2005. It was co-sponsored by the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan...

     at Doha
    Doha
    Doha is the capital city of the state of Qatar. Located on the Persian Gulf, it had a population of 998,651 in 2008, and is also one of the municipalities of Qatar...

    , Qatar
    Qatar
    Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

    , he states that "The Holocaust
    The Holocaust
    The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

     is a historical fact." However, he adds that Israel has "made a bad use of this historic fact with the persecution of the Palestinian people
    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...

    ."
  • On September 7, 2006, during a visit to Washington
    Washington, D.C.
    Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

    , Mohammad Khatami calls for dialogue between the United States and 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...

    .
  • January 24–28, 2007, Mohammad Khatami attended the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos
    Davos
    Davos is a municipality in the district of Prättigau/Davos in the canton of Graubünden, Switzerland. It has a permanent population of 11,248 . Davos is located on the Landwasser River, in the Swiss Alps, between the Plessur and Albula Range...

    , Switzerland. German Chancellor Angela Merkel
    Angela Merkel
    Angela Dorothea Merkel is the current Chancellor of Germany . Merkel, elected to the Bundestag from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, has been the chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union since 2000, and chairwoman of the CDU-CSU parliamentary coalition from 2002 to 2005.From 2005 to 2009 she led a...

    , British Prime Minister Tony Blair
    Tony Blair
    Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

    , former U.S. President Bill Clinton
    Bill Clinton
    William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

     and First Lady Hillary Clinton, U.S. Vice Presidents Al Gore
    Al Gore
    Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

     and Dick Cheney
    Dick Cheney
    Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney served as the 46th Vice President of the United States , under George W. Bush....

     and U.S. Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright
    Madeleine Albright
    Madeleine Korbelová Albright is the first woman to become a United States Secretary of State. She was appointed by U.S. President Bill Clinton on December 5, 1996, and was unanimously confirmed by a U.S. Senate vote of 99–0...

     and Colin Powell
    Colin Powell
    Colin Luther Powell is an American statesman and a retired four-star general in the United States Army. He was the 65th United States Secretary of State, serving under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. He was the first African American to serve in that position. During his military...

     were among those attending. Khatami and Senator John Kerry
    John Kerry
    John Forbes Kerry is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, the 10th most senior U.S. Senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, but lost to former President George W...

     have expressed similar opinions and shared words with each other in the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The Man with the Chocolate Robe



On December 22, 2005, a few months after the end of Khatami's presidency, the monthly magazine Chelcheragh
Chelcheragh
Chelcheragh is the name of a weekly social magazine printed in Iran. The magazine became famous in Iran for organizing a controversial ceremony titled "A Night with: The Man with the Chocolate Robe" in honor of former Iranian president, Mohammad Khatami a few months after his term had ended....

, along with a group of young Iranian artists and activists, organized a ceremony in Khatami's honor. The ceremony was held on Yalda
Yalda
Yalda , Yalda Night / Shab-e Yaldâ , or Shab-e Chelleh is the Persian Winter Solstice Celebration which has been popular since ancient times. Yalda is celebrated on the Northern Hemisphere's longest night of the year, that is, on the eve of the Winter Solstice...

 night at Tehran's Bahman Farhangsara Hall. The ceremony, titled "A Night with The Man with the Chocolate Robe
The Man with the Chocolate Robe
A Night with: The Man with the Chocolate Robe was the title of an event held on December 22, 2005, in honor of former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami after the end of his last term in office. The controversial ceremony was organized by the weekly magazine Chelcheragh...

" by the organizers, was widely attended by teenagers and younger adults. One of the presenters and organizers of the ceremony was Pegah Ahangarani
Pegah Ahangarani
Pegah Ahangarani is an Iranian actress. She is the daughter of actress and director Manijeh Hekmat and movie director Jamshid Ahangarani. She has acted in 11 Iranian feature films since 2001 and made at least one documentary.- Filmography:...

, a popular young Iranian actress. The event did not get a lot of advance publicity, but it drew a huge amount of attention afterwards. In addition to formal reports on the event by the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

, IRNA, and other major news agencies, googling
Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

 the term "مردی با عبای شکلاتی" ("The Man with the Chocolate Robe" in Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

) shows thousands of results of mainly young Iranians' blog
Blog
A blog is a type of website or part of a website supposed to be updated with new content from time to time. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in...

s mentioning the event. It was arguably the first time in the history of Iran that an event in such fashion was held in honor of a head of government. Some weblog reports of the evening described the general atmosphere of the event as "similar to a concert!", and some reported that "Khatami was treated like a pop star" among the youth and teenagers in attendance during the ceremony. Many bloggers also accused him of falling short of his promises of a safer, more democratic Iran.

2008 International Conference on Religion in Modern World


In October 2008, Khatami organized an international conference on the position of religion in the modern world. Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan
Kofi Atta Annan is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the UN from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2006...

, former Norwegian Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Norway
The Prime Minister of Norway is the political leader of Norway and the Head of His Majesty's Government. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Stortinget , to their political party, and ultimately the...

 Kjell Magne Bondevik
Kjell Magne Bondevik
Kjell Magne Bondevik is a Norwegian Lutheran minister and politician . He served as Prime Minister of Norway from 1997 to 2000, and from 2001 to 2005, making him Norway's longest serving non-Labour Party Prime Minister since World War II...

, former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi
Romano Prodi
Romano Prodi is an Italian politician and statesman. He served as the Prime Minister of Italy, from 17 May 1996 to 21 October 1998 and from 17 May 2006 to 8 May 2008...

, former French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin
Lionel Jospin
Lionel Jospin is a French politician, who served as Prime Minister of France from 1997 to 2002.Jospin was the Socialist Party candidate for President of France in the elections of 1995 and 2002. He was narrowly defeated in the final runoff election by Jacques Chirac in 1995...

, former Swiss President Joseph Deiss
Joseph Deiss
Joseph Deiss is an economist, Swiss politician and a member of the Christian Democratic People's Party . From 1999 to 2006, he was a member of the Swiss Federal Council, heading first the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and then the Federal Department of Economic Affairs...

, former Portuguese President
President of Portugal
Portugal has been a republic since 1910, and since that time the head of state has been the president, whose official title is President of the Portuguese Republic ....

 Jorge Sampaio, former Irish President
President of Ireland
The President of Ireland is the head of state of Ireland. The President is usually directly elected by the people for seven years, and can be elected for a maximum of two terms. The presidency is largely a ceremonial office, but the President does exercise certain limited powers with absolute...

 Mary Robinson
Mary Robinson
Mary Therese Winifred Robinson served as the seventh, and first female, President of Ireland from 1990 to 1997, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, from 1997 to 2002. She first rose to prominence as an academic, barrister, campaigner and member of the Irish Senate...

, former Sri Lankan President
President of Sri Lanka
The President of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is the elected head of state and the head of government. The President is a dominant political figure in Sri Lanka. The office was created in 1978 but has grown so powerful there have been calls to restrict or even eliminate its power...

 Chandrika Kumaratunga
Chandrika Kumaratunga
Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga born June 29, 1945) was the 4th Executive president of Sri Lanka, serving from November 12, 1994 to November 19, 2005. The daughter of two former Prime Ministers, she was also the leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party until end of 2005...

 and former UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 director general Federico Mayor
Federico Mayor
Federico Mayor Zaragoza is a Spanish scientist, scholar, politician, diplomat and poet. He served as Director-General of UNESCO from 1987 to 1999.He is currently the Chairman of the Foundation for a Culture of Peace and member of the Honorary Board of the International Decade for the Promotion of...

 as well as several other scholars were among the invited speakers of the conference.

The event was followed by a celebration of the historical city of Yazd
Yazd
Yazd is the capital of Yazd Province in Iran, and a centre of Zoroastrian culture. The city is located some 175 miles southeast of Isfahan. At the 2006 census, the population was 423,006, in 114,716 families....

, one of the most famous cities in Persian history and Khatami's birthplace. Khatami also announced that he is about to launch a television program to promote intercultural dialogue.

2009 Presidential election


Khatami contemplated running in the 2009 Iranian presidential election
Iranian presidential election, 2009
Iran's tenth presidential election was held on 12 June 2009, with incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad running against three challengers. The next morning the Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran's official news agency, announced that with two-thirds of the votes counted, Ahmadinejad had won the election...

. In December 2008, 194 alumni of Sharif University of Tech wrote a letter to him and asked him to run against Ahmadinejad "to save the nation". On February 8, 2009 he announced his candidacy at a meeting of pro-reform politicians.
On March 16, 2009, Khatami officially announced he will drop out of the Presidential race in order to endorse another reformist candidate 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...

 who Khatami claims will stand a better chance against Iran's conservative establishment to offer true change and reform.

Green movement



In December 2010, following the crushing of post-election protest, Khatami has been described as working as a political "insider," drawing up a "list of preconditions" to present to the government "for the reformists' participation in the upcoming parliamentary elections," that would be seen as reasonable by the Iranian public but intollerable by the government. This was seen by some (Ata'ollah Mohajerani
Ata'ollah Mohajerani
Ata'ollah Mohajerani , , is an Iranian historian, politician, journalist, and author. Ata`ollah Mohajerani served as Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance of Iran under reformist President Mohammad Khatami until 2000 when he was resigned from office for alleged permissiveness."-Overview:Dr...

) as "astute" and proving "the system could not take even basic steps required for living up to its own democratic principles" (Azadeh Moaveni) In response to the conditions, Kayhan
Kayhan
Kayhan is an influential newspaper in Iran. Directly under the supervision of the Office of the Supreme Leader, it is regarded to be "the most conservative Iranian newspaper."...

newspaper of 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...

, has condemned Khatami as "a spy and traitor" and called for his execution.

Controversy and criticism


Khatami's two terms as president were regarded, by some people, as unsuccessful or not fully successful in achieving their goals of making Iran freer and more democratic, and he has been criticized by conservatives, reformers, and opposition groups for various policies and viewpoints.

In a 47-page "letter for the future", Khatami said his government had stood for noble principles but had made mistakes and faced obstruction by hardline elements in the clerical establishment.

Publications



Khatami has written a number of books in Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

, Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 and English:

Books in Persian
  • Fear of the Wave (بیم موج)
  • From the World of the Polis to the Polis of the World (از دنیای شهر تا شهر دنیا)
  • Faith and Thought Trapped by Despotism (آیین و اندیشه در دام خودکامگی)
  • Democracy (مردم سالاری)
  • Dialogue Among Civilizations (گفتگوی تمدنها)
  • A Letter for Tomorrow (نامه ای برای فردا)
  • Islam, The Clergy, and The Islamic Revolution (اسلام، روحانیت و انقلاب اسلامی)
  • Political Development, Economic Development, and Security (توسعه سیاسی، توسعه اقتصادی و امنیت)
  • Women and the Youth (زنان و جوانان)
  • Political Parties and the Councils (احزاب و شوراها)
  • Reviver of the Truth of Religion [title roughly translated from Persian] (احیاگر حقیقت دین)


Books in English
  • Islam, Liberty and Development ISBN 978-1883058838


Books in Arabic
  • A Study of Religion, Islam and Time [title roughly translated from Arabic] (مطالعات في الدين والإسلام والعصر)
  • City of Politics [title roughly translated from Arabic] (مدينة السياسة)


A full list of his publications is available at his official personal web site (see below).

Awards/Honors

  • Gold medal from University of Athens
  • The special medal of Spain's Congress of Deputies and Senate, Key to Madrid
  • Honorary PhD, Moscow State Institute of International Relations
  • Honorary doctorate in Philosophy from University of Moscow
  • Honorary PhD degree, Tokyo Institute of Technology
    Tokyo Institute of Technology
    The Tokyo Institute of Technology is a public research university located in Greater Tokyo Area, Japan. Tokyo Tech is the largest institution for higher education in Japan dedicated to science and technology. Tokyo Tech enrolled 4,850 undergaraduates and 5006 graduate students for 2009-2010...

  • Honorary doctorate degree by the Delhi University
  • Honorary doctorate from National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan
  • Degree of honor in political sciences, Lebanese University
    Lebanese University
    The Lebanese University is the only public institution for higher learning in Lebanon. Founded in 1951, it has 17 faculties as of 2006 and serves various cultural, religious, and social groups of students and teachers....

  • Pakistan's highest civilian honour
  • Plaque of honor and medal of distinction by the International Federation for Parent Education
  • Honorary doctorate from Al-Neelain University
    Al-Neelain University
    Al-Neelain University is a public university located in Khartoum, Sudan. It was founded in 1955.As of November 2004, Awad Haj Ali was the Vice-Chancellor of the university.The universtiy is a member of the Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World....

  • Honorary doctorate of Law from University of St Andrews
    University of St Andrews
    The University of St Andrews, informally referred to as "St Andrews", is the oldest university in Scotland and the third oldest in the English-speaking world after Oxford and Cambridge. The university is situated in the town of St Andrews, Fife, on the east coast of Scotland. It was founded between...

    .

See also

  • 2nd of Khordad Movement
  • Mohammad Khatami presidential campaign, 2009
    Mohammad Khatami presidential campaign, 2009
    Mohammad Khatami, former President of Iran, announced his candidacy for 2009 Iranian presidential election on February 8, 2009. Khatami later pulled out of the race.-Campaign events:...

  • Iranian presidential election, 1997
    Iranian presidential election, 1997
    Iranian presidential election of 1997 took place on May 23, 1997, which resulted in an unpredicted win for the reformist candidate Mohammad Khatami. The election was notable not only for the lopsided majority of the winner - 70% - but for the high turnout...

  • Iranian presidential election, 2001
    Iranian presidential election, 2001
    Iranian presidential election of 2001 took place on June 8, 2001, and resulted in Mohammad Khatami being elected as the President of Iran for his second term.-Candidates:* Mohammad Khatami, Incumbent President...

  • Iranian presidential election, 2009
    Iranian presidential election, 2009
    Iran's tenth presidential election was held on 12 June 2009, with incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad running against three challengers. The next morning the Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran's official news agency, announced that with two-thirds of the votes counted, Ahmadinejad had won the election...

  • Liberal movements within Islam
    Liberal movements within Islam
    Progressive Muslims have produced a considerable body of liberal thought within Islam or "progressive Islam" ; but some consider progressive Islam and liberal Islam as two distinct movements)...

  • Modern Islamic philosophy
    Modern Islamic philosophy
    Aziz Abbassi’s English translation found in the following pages wasmade from the French Introduction à la critique de la raison Arabe,translated from Arabic to French by Ahmed Mahfoud and Marc Geoffroy,...


External links