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A Year Later: Suppression Continues in Iran

President Mahmoud Ahmedinajad

Born: 1956

Hometown: Garmsar, Semnan

Position: President of the Islamic Republic

“Now… dirt or dust creeping from the corners may do something. But you must know that the pure river that is the Iranian nation will not allow them to put themselves on display.”




Hailing from a poor background, Mahmud Ahmedinajad studied at the Iran University of Science and Technology in Tehran before serving in a number of administrative posts in West Azerbaijan. He subsequently joined the faculty at his alma mater before being appointed mayor of Tehran in 2003. Two years later, he won the presidential election, beating Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. As President, he is head of the executive, carrying out domestic and international policy though ultimately subordinate to the Supreme Leader.

Ahmedinajad has been criticized extensively both in Iran and abroad for the general degradation of human rights under his watch. Following the June 12, 2009 election, Ahmedinajad declared his victory quickly and called those who protested against the results sore losers and “dust and dirt.” He rarely speaks about the disputed election, but when he does, he blames foreign intervention in Iran’s domestic politics.

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Reports, Right to Protest, Imprisonment