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In June 2005, Iranians elected Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who had campaigned on a platform of improving economic conditions, as their new president. Ahmadinejad assumed his new post in early August 2005 with the backing of those political factions in Iran who most vigorously opposed political and social reforms initiated by his predecessor, Mohammad Khatami. This support, coupled with positions Ahmadinejad took during the campaign, caused human rights defenders and activists in Iran to view his rise to power with great concern.

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