Poster of Ahmadinejad in Shiraz, Iran from April 2007 (Photo by Snorkel, available at Flickr).

May 13, 2009

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Biography and Campaign News


Name: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Birthyear: 1956[1]

Birthplace: Aradan village near Garmsar[2]

Education: Ph.D. in civil engineering from the Science and Technology University[3]

Biography: Pre-revolution:  Student activist. Post-revolution: Member of the Revolutionary Guards, war veteran, Governor of Maku, governor of Khoy, advisor to Kordestan General Governor, Cultural Advisor to Minister of Higher Education 1372, Ardebil Governor General 1372-1376, Science and Technology University Academic Board Member since 1368, Tehran Mayor 1382-1384, elected President in 2005. [4]


Campaign News

June 9-10 News Roundup

June 7-8 News Roundup

  • Ahmadinejad's website.
  • Al-Ghadir Foundation General Secretary Ayatollah Abol-Ghasem Khazali, speaking to the Azeris in Gorgan: "Some who does not vote, or votes for someone else than Ahmadinejad have helped the reform movement and the monafeghin[Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization]."
  • Ahmadinejad speaking at a rally in Isfahan:
    • "Four or five years after the victory of the revolution, a group gradually took over the grand executive leadership of the country and their thoughts and ethics were different and deviated from the path of the Imam...
    • Instead of preferring the revolution, they prioritized their own interests rather than the honor of the nation and a ring was made of executives who did not consider themselves servants of the people, but considered themselves masters and grandees of the country... They preferred the interest of their own and their family's interest to the interests of the nation and this happened simultaneous with gradual formation of circles of might and wealth to the degree that their connection with the masses of the nation was cut...even their way of speaking shows this...This group were either deviated or came and began filling their own pockets and hoarding personal belongings and they thought that the belongings of the revolution was their personal belonging...
    • Do you remember me saying four years ago that you the dear nation entered the arena to break this selfish ring of arrogant executives? Back then you entered the arena and sent your own son into the midst of this ring with your decisive vote. On that very day I declared that it seems that this servant of the nation has entered a no go area of power belonging this close and selfish circuit which has distanced itself from the nation...
    • During the past four years they attempted to crush your vote and your will and when they lost hope they got together in a united front to avoid total collapse of the front of might and power, the bullies who constantly thread upon the rights of the nation...for the past three months the worst insults, allegations and lies [have been dealt to me] only because I resist and don't capitulate the rights of the nation...They should know that such insults don't count and even if you get together hundred times of today and make allegations and insults hundred times worse I am the servant of the great Iranian nation and I have prepared my throat and torso for your insults…
    • They ask why you have mentioned the names of certain individuals and that this deals blows to the revolution. I want to ask this: If the rights of a nation are tread upon, if the dignity of a nation is tread upon, if the existence of the revolution is tread upon, would this not do the revolution harm...? They ask me why you have mentioned certain names. I say it is only the beginning of the path. If you do not stop conspiring against the nation, if you do not stop laying your hands on the belongings of the nation, if you do not stop making troubles for the nation, each and every one of them will be presented to this great nation. They have insulted our nation, they have insulted the noble people of Isfahan. They consider themselves superior to the nation. They want the entire country for themselves. But history records that they during 24 years, with their deeds made the hearths of the nation and the Supreme Leader bleed..."
  • Parvin Ahmadinejad, the president's sister: "The issue interesting Imam Khomeini most was that the Islamic revolution should not be entrapped within the boundaries of Iran...the ninth government has managed to realize this goal...Today someone has come to manage the affairs who wants to take Islam into the heart of Europe...In the past there were people who said that religion has nothing to do with freedom, but freedom is within the very core of the religion of Islam..."
  • Ahmadinejad explains his debate technique against Mousavi. Video
  • Asr-e Iran releases a letter by Ahmadinejad when he was governor of Ardebil in which he writes "the name of Hashemi Rafsanjani is magnificent in history." 
  • Alef News Agency releases Ahmadinejad's second campaign video
  • Ahmadinejad speaking in Tabriz: "They have warned me to take care. Let me announce it from here. God is witness that we have prepared our throats and our torso for sharp lances of allegations but we will never sign a document against the interests of the Iranian nation...Movement must be in the direction of the revolution. Recently at a television program I mentioned a few names after which some protested against me on why I did so...the problems began when they started sacrificing the revolution for the sake of their own interests." 
  • Ahmadinejad promises more disclosures of economically corrupt individuals. 
  • The Central Bank's statistics report inflation at 23.6 percent while Ahmadinejad claimed inflation is down to 15 percent
  • Ahmadinejad campaign condemns the Mousavi vs. Karrubi televised debate which allegedly did not clarify the viewpoints of the candidates, but was used to launch attacks against Ahmadinejad. 
  • Parvin Ahmadinejad, sister of the president speaking in Qom says pre-revolution pictures of Zahra Rahnavard, wife of Mousavi, without the hijab in Iran is the work of the Mousavi campaign to give the Ahmadinejad campaign a bad name
  • Presidential advisor Mohammad-Ali Ramin says disclosure of economic corruption is the path to salvation of the future of the country. 

June 5 News Roundup

June 4 News Roundup

  • Rafsanjani's office sees itself forced to respond to Ahmadinejad supporters who have resurrected 80’s-era Rafsanjani's speeches in which he attacks then Prime Minister Mousavi.
  • (E) A spokesman for Ahmadinejad’s campaign denounced personal attacks made against him by the other presidential candidates, stating “Ahmadinejad believes that legal rights of the nation should not be violated. It is unacceptable for any political power to humiliate Iranians.”
  • (E) Ahmadinejad attributed recent criticism against him to objections to his policy on monopoly control.
  • (E) Ahmadinejad attacked liberalism, stating that “under the banner of Liberalism, many have committed barbarities and crimes against humanity without facing any kind of punishment."
  • (E) In the northeastern province of Khorasan, Ahmadinejad’s election headquarters were attacked.
  • (E) According to the Iran News Network, 96 Iranian writers, poets, and artists endorsed Ahmadinejad for re-election.
  • (E) Mohsen Safaie-Farahani denied accusations of graft made by Ahmadinejad during Wednesday’s heated presidential debate, challenging the current president to a debate.
  • (E) Iranian jurist Nemat Ahmadi condemned Ahmadinejad’s slandering of former government officials and asked the Guardian Council to disqualify him from the presidential election, stating, “What Ahmadinejad said last night was clearly in breach of the Constitution. All those who he named can file a complaint against him.”
  • (E)Former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani called Ahmadinejad’s accusations baseless “lies.”

June 3 News Roundup

June 2 News Roundup

May 29-June 1 News Roundup

May 28 News Roundup

  • Story about 200 parliamentarians supporting Ahmadinejad's candidacy refuted.
  • Ahmadinejad launches his sixth attack against "traitors" who submitted to foreign pressures in the nuclear issue in 2004.
  • Motalefeh Deputy General Secretary Asadollah Badamchian says "election [slogan of] 'anyone but Ahmadinejad'...pleases the world imperialism."
  • Davoud Ahmadinejad, brother of the president, gets a cold reception in Abadan.
  • Ahmad Khorshidi, father of Ahmadinejad's son-in-law, says Ahmadinejad's policies are fundamentally wrong, adds Ahmadinejad himself is the core of the problem since he rubs off on his friends but not vice versa. Khorshidi says he most certainly will not vote for Ahmadineajd.
  • Former Industry Minister Eshagh Jahangiri attacks authenticity of statistics provided by Ahmadinejad.
  • (E) Ahmadinejad’s student supporters march on Thursday, the official Iranian holiday that marks the demise of the Prophet Muhammad’s daughter Fatimah Zahra.
  • (E) Ahmadinejad responded to recent criticism of his foreign policy in Latin America, stating: “One of these gentlemen [rival candidates] still cannot understand the world affairs and this is why he asks us why we have focused on Latin America… When the Western countries were trying to isolate Iran, we went to the US backyard and I even delivered my strongest anti-US speech in Nicaragua.”
  • (E) Ahmadinejad tried to discredit former President Khatami’s support for Mousavi by calling his meeting with French President Jacque Chirac in 2005 as “one of the saddest days of [his] life” because “Jacque Chirac was standing on top of the stairs and Iran's former president … had to climb several flights of stairs to reach him, that kind of behavior is insulting to us.”
  • (E) President Ahmadinejad faces severe criticism for failing to provide adequate information regarding over 1 billion dollars of missing oil revenue from the 2006-2007 budget. 

May 27 News Roundup

May 23-26 News Roundup

  • Abadgaran faction spokesman Mehdi Chamran says "prayer is not enough" to get Ahmadinejad reelected and calls for unity among the Principalists.
  • Ahmadinejad attacks the reformist camp whom he accuses of trying to appease the enemy by "even plumbing chainsaws in this country," a reference to the previous government's alleged willingness to cooperate with the West in the nuclear issue.
  • Attempts to unite the Principalists in support of Ahmadinejad comes to naught as Larijani and his 75 supporters deny the president their backing and support. Rouhollah Hosseinian mobilized 50 parliamentarians to support Ahmadinejad. At the end of the parliamentary session Hosseinian managed to increase Principalist endorsement of Ahmadinejad to 80 members of the Parliament. Larijani is reelected Speaker of the Parliament and Bahonar was elected his first deputy. More here.
  • Mojtaba Hashemi Samareh, Ahmadinejad’s campaign chief, claims his headquarters has no plans to campaign at street level, complains about "the oppositional press."
  • (E) Ayatollah Mohammed-Reza Mahdavi-Kani has endorsed Ahmadinejad for re-election.
  • Mehdi Khorshidi, Ahmadinejad's son-in-law condemns the press' use of his father's statements against Ahmadinejad.
  • Ahmadinejad's televised address: "We are getting closer to taking greater decisions and we must all work to build a better Iran..."
    • Ahmadinejad adds that he believes in "divine blessing, unparalleled capacity and capability of the Iranian nation and executive management of the Imam of the Era."
  • Ahmadinejad defends his record: "The greatest achievement of this government during the past couple of years is reestablishment of the self confidence of the nation and belief in them self… In different fields different and unparalleled achievements have been achieved. In the economic field, the government has served three times more than the past, in other fields the work done is ten times efforts of the past. In order to evaluate work done one only needs to compare with performance of past governments. The problems and weaknesses have always been there. One must see which problem has decreased. In this country, for the first time the prestige of the threat of sanctions collapsed... Is it the Iranian economy or the economy of world imperialism which has collapsed?
    • IRNA reports from Ahmadinejad’s speech to 12,000 student audience: The students shouted God is great, Death to the opponents of the guardianship of the jurist, "we are all your soldiers Khamenei", "Ahmadi, Ahmadi, we support you!", "death to America", "death to Israel", and the like. 
  • Self-Sacrificers’ faction explains its support for Ahmadinejad, call him the candidate of "resistance [in the face of world imperialism]."
  • Ali-Reza Zaker Esfahani, head of the Presidency's Research Institute, praises the Ahmadinejad government as the "iconoclast" of "the icon of Zionism." 
    • Zaker says that the Supreme Leader has approved of the nuclear policies of the Ahmadinejad government.
  • Ahmadinejad's televised address.
    • Shamghadari, cultural advisor to Ahmadinejad, denies Abrar's report.
  •  (E) Ahmadinejad made his first election campaign broadcast address on national radio, stating: “Today’s conditions resemble a launching pad and through better and complete insight of national capacities and capabilities, we should continue the path to enhance dignity and grandeur of Iranian nation.”
  • (E) Ahmadinejad defended his administration from political criticism, citing his election in 2005 as the turning point at which “the people returned to their revolutionary goals and chose the slogan of 'We Can.'”

May 22 News Roundup

  • Ahmadinejad, speaking to the clerics and religions scholars in Semnan: "We believe that forming a government in order to realize the ideals of the Islamic Revolution and [attending to] the responsibilities is nothing but execution and pursuit of divine ideals. This government - from this point of view - is doing its best to serve in propagating the pure Islamic thought and culture...I believe that during the absence of the Infallible Imam there is no mission but missionary work for the Imam of the Era and there is no path to perfection but through the path of the Imam... The imperialist world order is the greatest obstacle towards establishment of a world government... The only place which has a clear school [of thought] and illuminated path for human beings is the Islamic Republic of Iran and the great mission of the Iranian nation specially the clergy is to present this school [of thought] to the people of the world."
  • (E) Ahmadinejad heralded the merits of seeking justice while on a tour of the Semnan province as part of his promise to become more familiar with local grievances and social issues.

May 21 News Roundup

  • (E) According to his aide for media affairs, Ahmadinejad will not participate in televised election debates.
  • (E) Ahmadinejad defended his provincial visits even though they have been criticized as a way to unfairly campaign for re-election.

May 20 News Roundup

May 19 News Roundup

  • Ahmadinejad's parliamentary supporters threaten to unseat Ali Larijani as Speaker of the Parliament.
  • Hojjat al-Eslam Ghasem Ravanbakhsh, member of the scientific board of the Imam Khomeini Research Institute in Qom and political editor of Partov-e Sokhan:
    • "They know Ahmadinejad will be reelected. Dennis Ross has said that Ahamdinejad will be reelected, but we must see to it that his vote is reduced…"
    • "Unfortunately internal movements against the government are in tandem with Westerners and the Americans and the Westerners have on numerous occasions supported them... Unfortunately opponents of the government are chanting the slogans of the Westerners and the Americans and say 'let anyone else but Ahmadinejad become president'. This is a sign of their cooperation with the Westerners..."
  • Ahmadinejad, speaking at a seminar with major oil executives, says "the main hands of the oil mafia have been severed, now only a few hands have remained but God willing they too will be severed and annihilated..."
  • Parliamentarian Daryoush Ghanbari finds "questionable the money being distributed during Ahmadinejad's provincial trips." 
  •  (E) Ahmadinejad pledges to share oil profits with Iranian citizens, if re-elected.
  • Entekhab News reports an alleged meeting of 700 members of the Revolutionary Guards in which representative of the Supreme Leader in the Guards, Hojjat al-Eslam Saidi, discusses the elections and urged all the IRGC members to vote for Ahmadinejad but did so without mentioning Ahmadinejad's name.
  • Ahmadinejad's campaign headquarters launches a website:
  • Reza Hosseini is appointed Youth Campaign Chief of the Ahmadinejad campaign in Kerman.

May 17-18 News Roundup

  • Fatemeh Rajabi wife of Government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham attacks the "mafia of power and wealth which has found huge wealth for its own tribe and kin... A thousand faces are both apparent and invisible and they don't like that the President speaks to the people in the language of the people because they themselves deceive the people by speaking in tongues... Has the candidate who has been silent for the past 20 years been among the people? How come he didn't sense danger during the fifty percent inflation under Hashemi [Rafsanjani] and how come he didn't sense danger during annihilation of the faith of the people during the Khatami government…?
    • Did [Tehran Mayor] Qalibaf not say 'I am a Hezbollahi Reza Khan [founder of the Pahlavi dynasty]?
    • Did [Mohsen] Rezai not say that the country was blossoming during Reza Khan and Hashemi [Rafsanjani]…?"
  • Hojjat al-Eslam Hamid Rasaei, head of the Ahmadinejad campaign speaker's committee, attacks Mousavi's continuous accusations against Ahmadinejad, referring to the Ahmadinejad campaign's distribution of free potatoes during the Iranian president's provincial visits.
    • Rasaei adds "if someone wanted to attract votes, one would have distributed rice and not potatoes."
    • Rasaei also attacks Mehdi Karrubi's promise of distributing cash among the people, adds the Ahmadinejad plan of wealth distribution is not an election promise, but a plan discussed and planned with experts."
  • Ayatollah Yazdi declares support for Ahmadinejad from the Scholars and Professors at the Theological Seminary of Qom for Ahmadinejad.
  • Andisheh Now on the other hand claims there has been widespread resistance to the endorsement
  • Ahmadinejad speaks with 300 student representatives in the mosque next to the President's Office: “In this government, we feel management of the Imam [of the Era], but most certainly it has been likewise during previous governments as well... They have created an assembly called the Imam of the Era May God Hasten His Emergence so that no one else speaks of him, and they have created an atmosphere in which many don't speak of him... In New York, there was a lady journalist who in an interview asked me, you who claim all religions and sects are free, how come the Bahais are not free? Answering her question I said: Could you please mention the name of their Prophet…? A party which has been created to serve divine duties is good, but a party which is established to achieve power is not god. There are those who say now that you have accepted democracy you must also recognize its instruments such as parties and political party formations. We ask this, if we are in favor of nuclear energy, must we also recognize nuclear weapons…? During the past 60 years the Zionists have become used to have twelve meters long tongues and ears with the size of a pea. Now the time has come to cut their tongues and enlarge their ears...There are those who tell us you have increased the threats and the costs. We ask this, you see that the United States is fleeing from our borders and does not even dare to threaten us. Do you call this increased cost?" 
  • Ahmadinejad appoints Ahmad Yazdanpour his campaign headquarters chief in Torbat-e Heydariyeh. 
  • Parliamentarian Valiollah Shojae-Pourian criticizes Ahmadinejad's provincial visits and accuses him of abusing his official position to engage in campaign activities. 

May 16 News Roundup

  • Raja News releases the full text of Farzand-e Mellat [Son of the Nation] (link available upon request—State Department filters prohibit Raja News links]

May 15 News Roundup

May 14 News Roundup

  • Ahmadinejad urges the candidates to "speak in such a way that we all can cooperate with the next president." 
  • Sometimes-IRGC theoretician Hassan Abbasi accuses the reformists of "trying to get hold of power by creating a charged atmosphere," compares Iran's allegedly "stable" economy with the “bankrupt” U.S. economy, threatens to disclose the names of "250 people in the pay of Khatami's office who were engaged in regime toppling activities," and demands Mousavi "clarify his position with regard to this movement, 250 members of which are foreign spies."
    • Commenting the issue of the name of Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman Abbasi adds: "There is no such thing as the Sea of Oman; it is the Sea of Iran and since there has never been an Arab Sea the name must change into its previous name the Sea of Cyrus."
    • Abbasi also questions authenticity of former President Mohammad Khatami's Ph.D. degree. 
  • Ahmadinejad says his provincial trips have set global standards and have become a role model all over the world, slams critics of government decisions during the provincial trips for not mentioning "a single example of an incorrect policy decision," and warns that he will "disclose the names of the economically corrupt" if they do not abstain from engaging in corrupt deeds. 
  • Ahmadinejad says the presence of the entire cabinet in elections does not serve a propaganda purpose, insists his trip to his native province of Semnan has not been cancelled, and condemns mudslinging against his government. 

May 13 News Roundup

  • Ali-Akbar Javanfekr, media advisor to Ahmadinejad, says the people who deliver petitions to the Iranian president during his provincial trips are not given cash handouts.
  • Rumors that Ahmadinejad will announce that Karaj will become its own province during a campaign rally there.
  • Mohammad-Ali Ramin, German-born senior advisor to Ahmadinejad, speaking at the Student Basij at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad: " [T]he fifth step is the one towards an Islamic world, that we invite the world to [embrace] Islam and justice and this phase serves the purpose of removing obstacles to emergence of the Imam of the Era since we believe in emergence of the just savior and we can't remain neutral in this waiting. Therefore we must move towards it and if one does not take such a step one is not awaiting [the coming of the Imam of the Era.]..."
    • Ramin criticizes all previous Islamic Republic governments and attacks Ahmadinejad's rivals: "If the gentlemen claim Ahmadinejad is directing the country into the abyss, what does Mousavi intend to do? What is his program for annihilation of Israel? The Imam's first word was that of annihilation of Israel. If he [Mousavi] does not want to do so, he must say so." 

[1] “Zendeginameh.” [Biography] Riasat-e Jomhouri-ye Eslami-ye Iran [Presidency of the Islamic Republic of Iran] (Tehran) No date available. Available in Persian at: (Accessed May 3, 2009).
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.