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Mohammad Khatami

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President Mohammad Khatami
President Mohammad Khatami

Hojjat ol-Eslam Seyyed Mohammad Khatami (حجت‌الاسلام سید محمد خاتمی; born October, 1943 in Ardakan, Yazd province) is the fifth and current President of Iran. He has been president since August 2, 1997, and his second term will end on August 2, 2005. He is a member of the Central Council of Militant Clerics Society.

Khatami was elected president on May 23, 1997 and was re-elected on June 8, 2001 for a second term. Khatami won largely due to the female and youth vote, who voted for him because he promised to improve the status of women and respond to the demands of the young generation in Iran.

Khatami is regarded as Iran's first reformist president, since the focus of his campaign was on the rule of law, democracy and the inclusion of all Iranians in the political decision-making process. However his policies of reform have led to repeated clashes with the hardline and conservative Islamists in the Iranian government, who control powerful governmental organizations like the Guardian Council whose members are appointed by the Supreme Leader.

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Khatami_&_Prince_Charles_(February_2004).jpg
Khatami with Prince Charles (February 2004)

Before serving as a president, Khatami has been a representative in the parliament from 1980 to 1982, supervisor of the Kayhan Institute, 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 from 1992 to 1997, and a member of Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution.

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Khatami_Katsav.jpg
President Khatami and Israel's President Katsav sitting next each other during Pope John Paul II's funeral

Khatami has a bachelor's degree in Western philosophy from Isfahan University, but he left the academic education while he was studying for a master's degree in Educational Sciences at Tehran University and went to Qom to complete his previous studies in Islamic sciences. He studied there for seven years and completed the courses to the highest level, Ijtihad. After that, he went to Germany to chair the Islamic Centre in Hamburg, where he stayed until the Iranian revolution.

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

In addition to his mother tongue Persian, he also speaks Arabic, English and German. He is married to Zohreh Sadeghi and has two daughers and a son: Leila (born 1975), Narges (born 1981), and Emad (born 1989).

On April 8, Khatami sat near Iranian-born Israeli President Moshe Katsav during the funeral of Pope John Paul II because of alphabetical order. Later, Katsav, who was born in Iran, claimed that he shook hands and spoke with Khatami. That would make this incident the first political contact between Iran and Israel since diplomatic ties were severed in 1979.[1] (http://uk.news.yahoo.com/050408/325/ffxz7.html) [2] (http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/swissinfo.html?siteSect=143&sid=5668289&cKey=1112966485000) However, after he returned to Iran, the country's state-run media reported that Khatami strongly denied shaking hands and chatting with Katsav.[3] (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7443548/)

See also


External links

Template:Footer President of Iranda:Mohammad Khatami de:Mohammad Chatemi es:Muhammad Jatami fr:Mohammad Khatami gl:Mohammad Khatami he:מוחמד חתאמי id:Mohammad Khatami nl:Mohammad Khatami pl:Mohammad Chatami sv:Mohammad Khatami zh:穆罕默德哈塔米

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