Seyed Mohammad Khatami was born on October 1943 in Ardakan -Yazd in Iran in a religious family. His father was a well known Islamic Clergyman.
He is married to Zohreh Sadeghi in 1974 and has two daughters and a son: Leila (born 1975), Narges (born 1981), and Emad (born 1989).
In 1961 after graduation from high school in his hometown, Mohammad Khatami went to the holy city of Qom to study theology and then in 1965 he continued his studies in Isfahan. He also studied philosophy at the University of Isfahan where he obtained his BA in 1969. In 1970 he entered the University of Tehran to study education and graduated with an MA. After graduation he went back to Qom to follow up his philosophical studies.
Before the Revolution in Iran, President Khatami participated in Islamic Movement in Hozeh (Seminary) in Qom. In 1979 he became the Head of Hamburg Islamic Center in Germany. Following his return to Iran, he was elected as the representative of Ardakan and Meibod constituencies in Majlis [Parliament] in 1980. He was also in charge of Kayhan the leading Iranian newspaper in 1981.
In 1982 he was elected as the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance and continued this responsibility until 1992. In 1992 he was appointed as Advisor the President while being the dean of the National Library of Iran. Mr. Khatami was elected the fifth President of the Islamic Republic of Iran on May 23, 1997 elections by gaining over 20 million votes, almost 70 percent of the votes cast. He was re-elected on June 8, 2001 for a second term. His second term ended on August 2, 2005.
He initiated the idea of dialogue among civilizations which was endorsed by acclamation of the world leaders during the millennium General assembly of the United Nations in 2000. He is the authors of many books and articles which are translated to different languages.
Some of Writings
- Fear of wave (Book)
- From world city to city of world (Book)
- Faith and thought trapped by despotism (Book)
- Madinat-al-Siasat (Book – Arabic)
- Islam, Liberty & Development (Book)
- To whom does velayat belong? (Article 1979)
- Tradition, Modernity and Development (Article 1996)
Some of the Awards
- Honorary Doctorate of Law, University of St Andrews, United Kingdom
- Golden award from Greek university Athens
- The special medal of Spain's Congress of Deputies and Senate, key to Madrid
- Honorary PhD, Moscow's University of International Relations
- Honorary degree of doctorate in philosophy, The University of Moscow
- Honorary PhD degree, University of Tokyo
- Honorary doctorate degree by the Delhi University
- Honorary doctorate from Azerbaijan's Academy of Science
- Degree of honor in political sciences, University of Lebanon
- Pakistan's highest Civilian Honor
- Plaque of honor and medal of distinction by The International Federation for Parent Education