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Fresh Air from WHYY, May 13, 2008 · Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, was relatively unknown on the international stage before he was elected in 2005. Journalist Kasra Naji says that insiders in Iran recognize that the election of Ahmadinejad marks the rise of a younger generation of right-wing Islamic hardliners intent on strengthening Iran's military might. Naji explains Ahmadinejad's rise to power, his complex character and his motivations in a new biography of the Iranian president. His book is called Ahmadinejad: The Secret History of Iran's Radical Leader. Naji worked as a journalist in Tehran during Ahmadinejad's rise to power but left the country after the Iranian government repeatedly denied his applications for a press card. He has reported for several news outlets, including the The Economist, CNN, the Guardian and The Los Angeles Times, and currently works for the Persian Service of the BBC World Service.
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