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Hojjat ol-Eslam Seyyed Mohammad Khatami (حجتالاسلام سید محمد خاتمی; born October, 1943 in Ardakan, Yazd province) is the fifth and current President of Iran. He has been president since August 2, 1997, and his second term will end on August 2, 2005. He is a member of the Central Council of Militant Clerics Society.
Khatami was elected president on May 23, 1997 and was re-elected on June 8, 2001 for a second term. Khatami won largely due to the female and youth vote, who voted for him because he promised to improve the status of women and respond to the demands of the young generation in Iran.
Khatami is regarded as Iran's first reformist president, since the focus of his campaign was on the rule of law, democracy and the inclusion of all Iranians in the political decision-making process. However his policies of reform have led to repeated clashes with the hardline and conservative Islamists in the Iranian government, who control powerful governmental organizations like the Guardian Council whose members are appointed by the Supreme Leader.
Before serving as a president, Khatami has been a representative in the parliament from 1980 to 1982, supervisor of the Kayhan Institute , Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance (1982-1986, and then for a second term from 1989 to May 24, 1992, when he resigned), the head of the National Library of Iran from 1992 to 1997, and a member of Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution .
Khatami has a bachelor's degree in Western philosophy from Isfahan University , but he left the academic education while he was studying for a master's degree in Educational Sciences at Tehran University and went to Qom to complete his previous studies in Islamic sciences. He studied there for seven years and completed the courses to the highest level, Ijtihad. After that, he went to Germany to chair the Islamic Centre in Hamburg, where he stayed until the Iranian revolution.
The United Nations titled the year 2001 as the United Nation's Year of Dialogue of Civilizations, as per Khatami's suggestion.
On April 8, President Khatami sat near Iranian-born Israeli President Moshe Katsav during the funeral of Pope John Paul II because of alphabetical order and later President Katsav claimed that he has shook hands and speaks with President Khatami.That was the first political contact of two countries since 1979.  According to Aljazeera network, President Mohammad Khatami denied shaking hands with the Israeli president. 
- Biography (Iranian presidency website)
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