|Biographical detail : ||The first non-cleric president of Iran.
Mahmoud a former Islamic Revolutionary Guard commander, unabashedly conservative and loyal to Iranís Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei who turned out to be a dark horse in Iranís presidential race of 2005, and he won with a landslide victory.
Mahmoud is known for little apart from his ostentatious austerity. He railed against corruption and joblessness as a man from the street.
A little-known figure in Iranian politics he became Tehranís mayor, in 2003, backed by the rigidly conservative city council. He won the hearts of his constituents by, among other populist acts, providing marriage loans to young couples and forgiving debts owed to the city council.
As a young student, Mahmoud joined an ultraconservative faction of the Office for Strengthening Unity, the radical student group spawned by the 1979 Islamic Revolution and staged the capture of the US Embassy in Tehran.
When Iraq invaded Iran, Mahmoud volunteered for military service, joined the Revolutionary Guards and was considered a daring soldier, participating in several military operations deep within Iraq.
With the war behind him, Mahmoud went into politics, was appointed governor first of Maku in north-western Iran and later governor of the newly created province of Ardabil.
One of seven children of blacksmith, Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad was born to a middle-class family in Garmsar, a neighbourhood of Tehran and graduated in civil engineering from Iran University. He is best recognised by his simple attire and unpolished style.