Iranian reformist president. Son of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khatami (d. 1988). Studied religion in Qom and then studied philosophy at Isfahan University and education at Tehran University. Was appointed director of the Hamburg (Germany) Islamic Institute in 1978, where he mobilized Iranian student political activity. Served as minister of Islamic guidance 1982–92 and director of the Iranian National Library 1992–97 before being elected president of Iran in 1997. A critic of imperialism, especially of the international capitalist system, but also an admirer of the achievements of Western civilization.