The newly elected Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was just an obscure figure when he was appointed as Tehran’s mayor in 2003.
Also he wasn't much known when he participated in the Iranian presidential race.
Ahmadinejad spent no money on his campaign, he won with the backing of the country’s powerful conservatives who used mosques to mobilize support for him.
The new Iranian President is widely viewed as a representative of the country’s ultra- conservatives and a close disciple of Supreme Leader Seyed Ali Khamenei.
His rival, who had won more votes in the first round, was the country’s former-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, whom Ahmadinejad defeated with 61.69% of the vote out of the about twenty-eight million votes, a turnout of about 59.6%.
Ahmadinejad's simple lifestyle and his populist views had won support especially amongst Iran's poorer classes.
At first, Rafsanjani rejected the poll results and alleged a "dirty tricks" campaign, but later said that the Iranian people should "assist" the president-elect nonetheless.
Ahmadinejad, a former revolutionary guard, has a populist streak. He calls his personal website “Mardomyar”, or the people's friend.
Due to his family background, Ahmadinejad lives a simple life and campaigned against corruption.
Ahmadinejad, son of a blacksmith, was born in 1956 in Garmsar, near Tehran.
He holds a PhD in traffic and transport from Tehran's University of Science and Technology.
Ahmadinejad started his political career as a consultant of the mayor of the southwestern city Shahr Kord in late 1970's.
During Iran-Iraq in the 1980’s, Ahmadinejad joined the armed forces. It is said that he used to work as a secret agent during the war, which he has repeatedly denied.
After that, Ahmadinejad was appointed to be mayor of the northwestern city of Maku bordering Turkey.
In late 1990's, he was appointed as the governor of the northwestern province of Ardabil, a post that brought him the annual honor of "Model Governor" for three consecutive times.
Later on, he was appointed as chief of the special forces of the hardline Revolutionary Guards.
In 2003, Ahmadinejad was elected as Tehran mayor.
Ahmadinejad often takes home-made meals to office and lives in an ordinary flat, which makes him supported by people of lower social status in the country.
He is one of the strongest defenders of Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme, which the U.S. claims is being used as a covert to produce nuclear weapons.
"They will not allow us to progress easily but we should not surrender to their will," he says on his website.
He doesn’t encourage establishing formal ties with Washington, frozen since 1979.
"America's unilateral move to sever ties with the Islamic Republic was aimed at destroying the Islamic revolution... America was free to sever its ties with Iran, but it remains Iran's decision to re-establish relations with America."
He is enthusiastically supported by the country’s younger, second-generation revolutionaries.