49 Facts About Mohammad Khatami


Mohammad Khatami served as Iran's Minister of Culture from 1982 to 1992.

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Mohammad Khatami had run on a platform of liberalization and reform.

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On 8 February 2009, Mohammad Khatami announced that he would run in the 2009 presidential election but withdrew on 16 March in favour of his long-time friend and adviser, former Prime Minister of Iran Mir-Hossein Mousavi.

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The Iranian media are forbidden on the orders of Tehran's prosecutor from publishing pictures of Mohammad Khatami, or quoting his words, on account of his support for the defeated reformist candidates in the disputed 2009 re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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Mohammad Khatami was born on 14 October 1943, in the small town of Ardakan, in Yazd Province.

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Mohammad Khatami holds the title of Sayyid, which means that he claims direct patrilineal descent from the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

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Mohammad Khatami married Zohreh Sadeghi, the daughter of a professor of religious law, and niece of Musa al-Sadr, in 1974.

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Mohammad Khatami's father, Ayatollah Ruhollah Mohammad Khatami, was a high-ranking cleric and the Khatib in the city of Yazd in the early years of the Iranian Revolution.

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Mohammad Khatami served as the secretary-general of Islamic Iran Participation Front for several years.

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Mohammad Khatami Reza is married to Zahra Eshraghi, a feminist human rights activist and granddaughter of Ruhollah Khomeini.

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Mohammad Khatami is not related to Ahmad Khatami, a hardline cleric and Provisional Friday Prayer Leader of Tehran.

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Mohammad Khatami received a BA in Western philosophy at Isfahan University, but left academia while studying for a master's degree in educational sciences at Tehran University and went to Qom to complete his previous studies in Islamic sciences.

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Mohammad Khatami studied there for seven years and completed the courses to the highest level, Ijtihad.

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Mohammad Khatami is a member and chairman of the Central Council of the Association of Combatant Clerics.

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Mohammad 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 "younger voters".

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Mohammad Khatami's ascendancy was a prelude to a dynamic reform thrust that injected hope into Iranian society, whipped up a dormant nation after eight years of war with Iraq in the 1980s and the costly post-conflict reconstruction, and incorporated terms in the political lexicon of young Iranians that were not previously embedded in the national discourse, nor did they count as priorities for the majority of the people.

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Mohammad Khatami's followers are therefore usually known as the "2nd of Khordad Movement".

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Mohammad 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.

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Mohammad Khatami lost most of those clashes, and by the end of his presidency many of his followers had grown disillusioned with him.

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Mohammad 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 presented a clear definition of the president's power to prevent constitutional violations by state institutions.

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Mohammad Khatami himself described the "twin bills" as the key to the progress of reforms in Iran.

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Mohammad Khatami inducted his Westward charm offensive by engaging the European Union, and became the first Iranian president to travel to Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway and Spain.

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At a macro-economic level, Mohammad Khatami continued the liberal policies that Rafsanjani had embarked on in the state's first five-year economic development plan.

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Much of his first term, Mohammad Khatami saw through the implementation of Iran's second five-year development plan.

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

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However, Mohammad Khatami attended Hafez al-Assad's funeral in 2000 and told new Syrian president Bashar al-Assad that "the Iranian government and people would stand by and support him".

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However, after he returned to Iran, Mohammad Khatami was subject to harsh criticism from conservatives for having "recognised" Israel by speaking to its president.

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Subsequently, the country's state-run media reported that Mohammad Khatami strongly denied shaking hands and chatting with Katsav.

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Mohammad Khatami gave a speech at the Washington National Cathedral and continued his US tour by addressing Harvard University, Georgetown University and the University of Virginia.

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Mohammad Khatami represented hope for the masses who desired change that differed in nature from what they had experienced in 1979, and yet a change that preserved Iran's Islamic republican system.

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Mohammad Khatami recalled his strong opposition against holding an election his government saw as unfair and not free.

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Mohammad Khatami narrated the story of his visit to the Supreme Leader, Khamenei, together with the Parliament's spokesman and a list of conditions they had handed him before they could hold the elections.

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Mohammad Khatami replied, "If you are the representative of the nation, then we are the nation's enemy".

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However, after a clarification by students stating that "Jannati, not Mohammad Khatami", he took advantage of the opportunity to claim a high degree of freedom in Iran.

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However, Mohammad Khatami then announced that the election would be held on time, and he rejected the resignations of his cabinet ministers and provincial governors.

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Mohammad Khatami introduced this concept in the United Nations in 1998.

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Mohammad Khatami believes that the modern world in which we live is such that Iranian youth are confronted with new ideas and is receptive of foreign habits.

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Mohammad Khatami believes that the limitation on youth leads to separation of them from the regime and calls them into Satanic cultures.

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Mohammad Khatami predicted that even worse, the youth will learn and accept the MTV culture.

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In terms of Islamic values, Mohammad Khatami encouraged film makers to extend the notions such as self-sacrifice, martyrdom, and revolutionary patience.

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When Mohammad Khatami was the minister of culture, he believed that cinema was not limited to the mosque and it is necessary to pay attention to entertaining aspects of cinema and not limiting it to religious aspect.

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Later on Mohammad Khatami became a University lecturer at Tarbiat Modarres University, where he taught political philosophy.

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Mohammad Khatami ends with a discussion of the revival of political philosophy in Safavid Isfahan in the second half of the 17th century.

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Mohammad Khatami has lectured on the decline in Muslim political thought in terms of the transition from political philosophy to royal policy and its imputation to the prevalence of "forceful domination" in Islamic history.

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In October 2008, Mohammad Khatami organized an international conference on the position of religion in the modern world.

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Mohammad Khatami announced that he is about to launch a television program to promote intercultural dialogue.

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On 16 March 2009, Mohammad Khatami officially announced he would drop out of the presidential race to endorse another reformist candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi who Mohammad Khatami claimed would stand a better chance against Iran's conservative establishment to offer true change and reform.

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Mohammad Khatami himself said that he still waits for the positive changes in the country, and will reveal his decision when the time is suitable.

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Mohammad Khatami has written a number of books in Persian, Arabic, and English:.

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