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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here is a look at the life of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


Birth date: October 28, 1956

Birth place: Aradan, Iran

Birth name: Mahmoud Saborjhian

Father: Ahmad Saborjhian, a blacksmith. Ahmadinejad’s father changed the family name from Saborjhian to Ahmadinejad after the family moved to Tehran.

Mother: Seiyed Khano

Marriage: Azam Farahi

Children: Two sons and a daughter

Education: Iran University of Science and Technology, Bachelor’s and Master’s, 1986 (in civil engineering) and Ph.D, 1987 (in transportation engineering)

Other Facts

He is a member of the Abadgaran party and is considered ultra-conservative.

He is a very loyal supporter of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Several of the 52 Americans held hostage during the 1979 Islamic Revolution claim Ahmadinejad was one of their captors. Former hostage takers in this incident, who are now political opponents of Ahmadinejad, deny he was involved.


1986 – Joins the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Late 1980s-Early 90s Governor of Maku and Khoy in Iran.

1993 – Adviser to the Minister of Culture and Higher Education.

1993-1997Governor of Ardabil Province in northwestern Iran.

May 3, 2003-2005 Appointed mayor of Tehran.

June 24, 2005Wins Iran’s presidential election by a landslide, defeating Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani. Ahmadinejad gets approximately 62% of the vote and immediately begins stating his desire to restart Iran’s nuclear program.

August 3, 2005Sworn in as president.

October 26, 2005During a speech at the World Without Zionism conference in Tehran, he states that “Israel must be wiped off the map.”

December 14, 2005 – Speaking to thousands of people in the Iranian city of Zahedan, Ahmadinejad states “Today, [Europeans] have created a myth in the name of Holocaust and consider it to be above God, religion, and the prophets.”

April 11, 2006 – Announces that Iran has produced low-grade enriched uranium that can be used for nuclear power.

September 19, 2006 – One of two featured speakers on the opening day of the United Nations General Assembly. The other is US President George W. Bush. The two men do not meet.

September 24, 2007 – Speaks at Columbia University. Ahmadinejad denies having ever denied the Holocaust, saying he just introduced “two questions” about it. He is booed after saying, “we don’t have homosexuals [in Iran] like in your country.”

September 25, 2007 – Speaks to the UN General Assembly.

September 26, 2007Christiane Amanpour interviews Ahmadinejad. He unexpectedly gets up and leaves after only a few minutes.

March 2-3, 2008 – Ahmadinejad visits Iraq; this is the first-ever visit to Iraq by an Iranian president. He meets with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and President Jalal Talabani, discussing topics such as oil production and development, border demarcations, and Israel’s excessive use of force in Gaza.

June 13, 2009 – Is reelected president of Iran as demonstrators fill the streets.

August 5, 2009 – Is sworn in as president.

October 13, 2010 – Arrives in Lebanon for his first state visit to meet with the president, the prime minister, and members of the militant group, Hezbollah, with whom Iran has a strong relationship.

April 17, 2011 – Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi is fired by Ahmadinejad; the action is vetoed by Khamenei.

May 2011 – Ahmadinejad accuses Western countries of using special equipment to cause a drought in Iran.

September 22, 2011 – Speaks at the UN General Assembly.

March 14, 2012 – Ahmadinejad is summoned before parliament to answer questions about domestic and foreign issues. It is the first time since the Iranian Revolution in 1979 that the parliament has summoned the country’s president to answer questions.

September 24, 2012 – Gives a speech at the United Nations, during which the ambassador from Israel walks out.

February 5, 2013 – During a visit to Egypt, a group of men throw shoes at Ahmadinejad. This is an insult in the Muslim world.

June 14, 2013 – Hassan Rouhani wins the Iranian presidential election.

August 4, 2013 – Rouhani is sworn in and Ahmadinejad officially leaves office.

April 11, 2017 – State media reports that Ahmadinejad has registered to run in the country’s presidential elections in May. This is unexpected, as Ahmadinejad was instructed last September by Khamenei not to run.

April 20, 2017 – The Guardian Council, a government forum that approves candidates, disqualifies Ahmadinejad from running in the upcoming presidential election. In 2021, he is again barred from running in the presidential election.

March 2, 2022 – Expresses his support for Ukraine and President Volodymyr Zelensky following Russia’s invasion.

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