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Mohammad Khatami is an Iranian cleric and politicians who was the fifth president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, holding office from 1997 to 2005. A reforming moderate, Khatami argued in favor of a "Dialogue of Civilizations" with the West and oversaw social and political liberalization in Iran. Educated at a traditional Islamic madrasa, he went on to earn a B.A. in Western philosophy at Isfahan and studied Educational Sciences at Tehran University but always maintained his status as a Muslim cleric. Khatami was elected in 1997 with 70 percent of the vote as the most socially moderate candidate. During his time in office he pushed for greater dialogue with the United States. Khatami has been a member of the High-level Group, a body of twenty international leaders in the fields of politics, academia, civil society, international finance, and media guiding the work of the Alliance of Civilizations since 2005.