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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (born October 28, 1956) is the sixth and current President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He became president on 6 August 2005 after winning the 2005 presidential election by popular vote. Before becoming president, he was the Mayor of Tehran. He is the highest directly elected official in the country, but, according to Article 113 of Constitution of Iran, he has less total power than the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of Iran and has the final word in all aspects of foreign and domestic policies.
Ahmadinejad is an outspoken critic of the George W. Bush Administration and supports strengthened relations between Iran and Russia (see Iran-Russia relations), Cuba, Venezuela (see Iran-Venezuela relations), Syria (see Iran-Syria relations) and the Persian Gulf states. He has said Iran's nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and has refused to end enrichment despite United Nations Security Council resolutions. He was condemned, internationally, for calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map. He has also been condemned for describing the Holocaust as a myth to make "the innocent nation of Palestine pay, leading to accusations of antisemitism. In response to these criticisms, Ahmadinejad said "No, I am not anti-Jew, I respect them very much.
During his presidency, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched a gas rationing plan to reduce the country's fuel consumption, dissolved the Management and Planning Organisation of Iran and cut the interest rate for private and public banking facilities