Thursday, January 29, 2009
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was born in the village of Arādān near Garmsar, the fourth of seven children born to a blacksmith, his family moved to Tehran when he was one year old.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, waves to people during a trip to Arak, a town in central Iran.
He ranked 130th in the nationwide university entrance exams, and entered Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST) as an undergraduate student of civil engineering in 1976.
Ahmadinejad continued his studies in the same university, entering the Master of Science program for civil engineering in 1984, in this year too he joined the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps , and in 1987 received his Ph.D in traffic and transportation engineering and planning.
The graduate program was a special program for the Revolutionary Guards members funded by the organization itself. After graduation, he became a professor at the civil engineering department at IUST.
Ahmadinejad is married and has two sons and a daughter.
In 1979, Ahmadinejad was a member of the Office of Strengthening Unity, the student organization that planned the Teheran Embassy takeover. Six former hostages who saw the president-elect in a 1979 photo or on television said they thought Ahmadinejad was among the captors who held them for 444 days, and one said he was interrogated by Ahmadinejad, who later denied he was one of the hostage takers. And While at the university, Ahmadinejad became politically active. After the Islamic Revolution in January 1979, he helped found the Islamic Association of Students in the Science and Technology University and became a member of the Revolutionary Guard. It is unclear whether he had a hand in the taking of hostages at the U.S. Embassy in November 1979. Some of the hostages have identified Ahmadinejad as one of the men involved, but he had denied it. And several of the known hostage takers, now political opponents of Ahmadinejad, have also said that he was not there. It is known, however, that Ahmadinejad served in the war with Iraq and there are even some reports that indicate he may have been involved in some covert operations during this conflict.
A different set of accusations against Ahmadinejad emerged in Austria. The newspaper Der Standard quoted a top official in Austria's Green Party as saying authorities have "very convincing" evidence linking Mr. Ahmadinejad to the 1989 slaying of Abdul-Rahman Ghassemlou, an Iranian opposition Kurdish leader, in Vienna. Exiled Iranian dissidents made the same accusations. Ahmadinejad joined the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in 1986 during the Iran-Iraq War. After training at the headquarters, he saw action in extraterritorial covert operations against Kirkuk, Iraq. Later he also became the head engineer of the sixth army of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and the head of the Corps' staff in the western provinces of Iran. After the war, he served as vice governor and governor of Maku and Khoy, an Advisor to the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, and the governor of the then newly established Ardabil province from 1993 to October 1997.
Ahmadinejad was mostly an unknown figure in Iranian politics until he was elected Mayor of Teheran by the second City Council of Tehran on May 3, 2003, after a 12% turnout led to the election of the conservative candidates of Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran in Teheran.
During his mayorship, he reversed many of the changes put into effect by previous moderate and reformist mayors, putting serious religious emphasis on the activities of the cultural centers founded by previous mayors, going on the record with the separation of elevators for men and women in the municipality offices and suggesting that the bodies of those killed in the Iran-Iraq war be buried in major city squares of Teheran.
Only two years later, with strong support from conservative leaders, Ahmadinejad ran for president. He promised to resolve issues of poverty, social injustice, corruption, and economics. Positioning himself as a man of the people, he won in a run-off election on June 24, 2005. After taking office, Ahmadinejad has made some interesting political moves. In line with his conservative views, he banned western music. But he has also lobbied to allow women to attend sporting events, which seems more of a moderate position. He also has encountered some challenges from within the government. Several of his candidates for oil minister withdrew or were rejected because the Majilis, the Iranian parliament, did not approve of Ahmadinejad's selections.
Diminutive in stature, Ahmadinejad has become an imposing figure in international politics. His hard-line stance on his country's right to develop civilian nuclear power has heightened tensions with the United States—already tenuous since diplomatic ties were severed in 1979—and other western nations. He wrote a letter to President George W. Bush in May 2006, which was the first direct communication between leaders of these two countries since the hostage situation. In the letter, Ahmadinejad offered his solutions to U.S.-Iran conflicts. The United States, however, dismissed the letter with officials stating the letter contained no proposals to resolving the nuclear issue.
Ahmadinejad has drawn fire for making inflammatory remarks, including those against the state of Israel and about the Holocaust, which have brought him condemnation from many world leaders. During a 2006 speech made at the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Ahmadinejad again criticized Israel, this time for its military action in Lebanon. He also lobbied for a seat on the UN Security Council for a representative of the Non-Aligned Movement, an association of more than 100 countries, including Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela.
For all of his rhetoric there is some question as to how much power Ahmadinejad wields in his own country. With the control of the government largely in the hands of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, it remains uncertain whether Ahmadinejad will make a long-term impact on Iran.
Often wearing a plain tan jacket, Ahmadinejad is said to live a simple life outside of politics. He is married and has three children.
>>source : www.jpost.com/servlet