Childhood & Early Life
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was born on 28 October 1956, in Aradan, Iran, to Ahmad, a Shia barber, and grocer, who used to teach the Quran. His mother, Khanom is believed to have been one of the direct descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
He joined the Iran University of Science and Technology as an undergraduate student of civil engineering. In 1977, he graduated from the same university with a PhD in 'transportation engineering and planning'.
During his period of study at the Iran University, he became politically inclined. He covertly circulated the propaganda magazine 'Jiq va Dad', which was an anti-Shah publication.
He became a member of the Office for Strengthening Unity, an Iranian student group that aimed at helping students cope against other leftist student groups.
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In May 1993, he took office as the Governor of Ardabil, a province in Iran. However, when Mohammad Khatami came to power, he was taken off from his post, after which he started teaching for a living.
In 2003, he officially took office as the Mayor of Tehran. During his tenure, he made many reforms, laying emphasis on religious matters. He also stressed on traffic matters and encouraged charity.
In 2005, he contested for the office of the President of Iran and defeated the former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. That year, he took office as the sixth President of Iran.
After his win, he became an international political figure and his stand on Iran’s right to develop nuclear power created controversy. He insisted that Iran’s nuclear program was for peaceful purposes and Iran was fully with in her rights to do so. He denied developing nuclear bomb. .
During his presidential term, he was accused of favouritism while choosing and appointing government officials, as many of the senior officials in his government were chosen from his family.
In 2006, his team lost in the Iranian council elections. That year, in order to encourage younger talent he retired many Iranian scientists and professors. It led to the first major student protest against him since his election.
He was criticised for his alleged disregard for human rights and his economic mismanagement. In 2007, he came out with a special ‘gas rotating plan’ to cut down fuel consumption.
In 2009, he was re-elected as the President of Iran for the second term. He defeated Mir-Hossein Mousavi but Mousavi and his supporters accused Ahmadinejad of electoral fraud. The people also suspected an election fraud.
In February 2009, the Supreme Audit Court of Iran reported a total of $1.058 billion oil surplus revenue as unaccounted for and not returned to the government. Later parliamentary speaker, Ali Larijani asked for further investigations on the matter.
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In July 2009, his government faced crisis after he fired four of his ministers. This was because according to the constitution, if more than half of the cabinet members were replaced, the decision would remain invalid until re-approval.
In 2010, his remark on the 9/11 attacks at the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly created controversy. The next year, during the 66th session he made comments of similar nature.
In 2011, many members of the Iranian parliament threatened to impeach his office, after he merged eight government ministries and removed three ministers without prior notice to the parliament.
He was defeated in the 2012 parliamentary elections. In March 2012, he became the first Iranian President to be questioned by the Islamic Consultative Assembly for issues relating to his presidency. He was summoned to answer questions about domestic and foreign policies.
In 2013, after the end of his Presidential term he left the Sa'dabad Palace, official residence of the President of Iran. Hassan Rouhani was elected as his successor. The same year, he was appointed as a member of the Expediency Council.