Khatami, Mohammad

(redirected from Muhammad Khatami)

Khatami, Mohammad

(khät`ämē), 1943–, Iranian religious and political leader. From a prominent clerical family, Khatami opposed the regime of Muhammad Reza Shah PahleviMuhammad Reza Shah Pahlevi
, 1919–80, shah of Iran (1941–79). Educated in Switzerland, he returned (1935) to Iran to attend the military academy in Tehran. He ascended the throne in 1941 after his father, Reza Shah Pahlevi, suspected of collaboration with the
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 in the 1960s and 70s, and in 1978 he headed the Islamic Center in Hamburg, Germany. After the shah's fall (1979), he returned to Iran and was elected to the national assembly, becoming minister of culture and Islamic guidance (1982–92). Considered a moderate, he eased restrictions on publications, films, art, and music and was ultimately forced to resign after being charged with permissiveness. Khatami subsequently served as director of the National Library and a presidential adviser.

Pledging to deal with runaway inflation and high unemployment, he was overwhelmingly elected Iran's president in 1997 with strong support from political moderates, intellectuals, students, and women. As president, he appointed a relatively liberal cabinet and called for political democratization and the advancement of women. He also advocated rapprochement between Iran and Arab states as well as improved relations with the West, including the United States. Many of his reform efforts were opposed by hard-line conservatives in the clergy, judiciary, and military, and his first administration was unable to produce significant economic improvement. Nonetheless, he reluctantly ran and was reelected with more than three fourths of the vote in 2001, as Iranians continued to support greater democracy and social freedom. His second term was little different from the first, as he generally avoided confrontation with the hard-liners and the unelected Guardian Council, even when the latter disqualified many legitimate reformist candidates for the 2004 parliamentary elections.

In 2009 Khatami briefly was a presidential candidate again but withdrew in favor of Mir Hossein MousaviMousavi, Mir Hossein
, 1941–, Iranian political leader and architect. Active in Islamic groups and in the opposition to the Shah's rule, he was (1979) a founder of the Islamic Republican party and served as foreign minister (1981) and prime minister (1981–89) after
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, and after the election supported Mousavi's charges of fraud and himself accused the government of a coup against the people. In the 2013 election he supported Hassan Rowhani, who won the presidency in the first round. He is the author of Fear of the Wave (1993), an essay collection, and From the World of the City to the City of the World (1994), a study of Western philosophical and political thought.

References in periodicals archive ?
The theocracy's Supreme Leader Khamenei has rejected pleas to free them made by ex-Presidents Ayatullah Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Muhammad Khatami, and many such high-profile theologians.
Younessi, a Shi'ite theologian, used to be the minister of intelligence under the reformist presidency of Muhammad Khatami (whose term was in 1997-2005, until he was succeeded by supremacist Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, a puppet of the IRGC).
The minister of intelligence under reformist President Muhammad Khatami and a Ja'fari Shi'ite theologian as well as a dedicated pillar of the Safawi movement, Younessi was later reprimanded by his superiors when the non-Persian citizens of multi-racial Iran rose in protest.
The Green Movement also includes Muhammad Khatami (who was president in 1997-05) and the children of pragmatic Ayatullah Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani (president in 1989-97).
President Rowhani is fully backed by two fairly influential ex-presidents: reformist theologian Muhammad Khatami (in office in 1997-05) and pragmatic Ayatullah Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (in office from 1989 to 1997).
Younessi is a Safawi cleric for many years known as a "moderate", having served as minister of intelligence under reformist 1997-2005 President Muhammad Khatami.
In mid-1997, Iran's presidential election was won by a reformist theologian, Hujjat ul-Islam Muhammad Khatami.
In the 1999 Tehran student revolt, he was among 24 IRGC officers who signed a letter to President Muhammad Khatami warning: "Our patience has run out".
Former President Muhammad Khatami has called for the release of political prisoners and urged an end to house arrest for two leaders who alleged fraud after the 2009 election.
The number of executions since Rouhani's election is unprecedented since the presidency of Muhammad Khatami (1997-2005).
In the wake of the disappointment from the failure by moderate reformist leader Muhammad Khatami to implement the reforms he had promised to the public due to the tyrannical system, the turnout had fallen to 63 percent in 2005, and given this fact, it can be suggested that the high rate of participation in the 2009 election represented a strong demand for change.
The reason behind this Iranian behavior is the failure of the reform project which former President Muhammad Khatami tried to instate to salvage the Islamic regime, due to the fact that the more conservative powers had another opinion and preferred to rush towards a more hardline position in both domestic and foreign policies.