Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was born on 28 October 1956. Ahmadinejad was born near Garmsar in the village of Aradan, in Semnan province. His father, Ahmad, was an ironworker, grocer, barber, blacksmith and religious Shi’a who taught the Quran. His mother, Khanom, was a Seyyede, an honorific title given to those believed to be direct bloodline descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. when Ahmadinejad was four years old to avoid discrimination when the family moved to Tehran his father changed his name from “Sabourjian” or “Sabaghian” as the rural name indicated a lowly social standing. Sabor is Persian for thread painter, a once common occupation within the Semnan carpet industry.
In 1976, Ahmadinejad took Iran’s national university entrance contests and soon enrolled in the Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST) as an undergraduate student of civil engineering. He earned his PhD in 1997 in transportation engineering and planning from Iran University of Science and Technology.
He is the sixth and current President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the main political leader of the Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran, a coalition of conservative political groups in the country. After the Islamic Revolution, Ahmadinejad became a member of the Office for Strengthening Unity, an organization developed to prevent students from sympathizing or allying with the budding Mojahedin-e Khalq. He first took political office as unelected governor to both Maku and Khoy in West Azarbaijan Province during the 1980s. He became an advisor to the governor general of Kurdistan Province for two years. He was removed from the post of a provincial governor after the election of President Mohammad Khatami and he returned to teaching. Tehran’s council elected him mayor in 2003. He took a religious hard-line, reversing reforms of previous moderate mayors. His 2005 presidential campaign, supported by the Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran, garnered 62% of the runoff election votes, and he became President on 3 August 2005.
Ahmadinejad is a controversial figure both within Iran and internationally. He has been criticized domestically for his economic lapses and disregard for human rights. He launched a gas rationing plan in 2007 to reduce the country’s fuel consumption, and cut the interest rates that private and public banking facilities could charge. He supports Iran’s nuclear energy program. His election to a second term in 2009 was widely disputed and caused widespread protests domestically and drew significant international criticism. In 2011 the presence of a so-called “deviant current” among his aides and supporters led to the arrest of several of them.
He married Fatemeh Sadat Farahi in 12 June 1981 in Tehran. Farahi was a classmate with Ahmadinejad when he was studied in Iran University of Science and Technology. They have three children, including one daughter, Asiyeh and two sons, Mehdi and Alireza. His older son, Mehdi is married with daughter of Ahmadinejad’s chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei in 2007 and his younger son, Alireza is married with nephew of former military general, Mahmoud Kaveh. All of his children studied at the Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic).