Mohammad Khatami was born on September 29, 1943, in Ardakan, Iran. He has held many positions in the Iranian government, including minister of culture, director of the National Library and adviser to President Rafsanjani. In the 1997 elections Khatami, the most moderate on social issues, was elected by almost 70 percent of the vote. He was reelected in 2001 and left office in 2005.
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