Bio: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad   

Bio: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad  

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.

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, the year he joined the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (see below), 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.

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.

Ahmadinejad became the President of Iran on August 3, 2005, receiving the approval of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

Sources: AP and Wikipedia

Jerusalem Post

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