Mohammad Saeedikia, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s former Minister of Housing and Urban Development, is the first officially announced candidate for Iran’s 2013 presidential election.
Saeedikia says that although his career has led him to be considered a principlist, he does not belong to any party and is an “independent” candidate.
Over more than two decades, the 66 years old politician has worked under four governments.
From 1985 to 1993 Saeedikia served as Minister of Transportation under both Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi and President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
After Mohammad Khatami, Iran’s reformist president, took office in 1997, Saeedikia became Minister of Construction. He held the post for three years. From 2000 until the end of Khatami’s second term in 2005, Saeedikia served as a presidential advisor.
When in 2005 President Ahmadinejad took office, Saeedikia was appointed Minister of Housing and Urban Development.
In 2009 Ahmadinejad removed him citing his “heart disease.” Saeedikia nonetheless told others at that time he was physically in good shape.
Saeedikia was born in Isfahan in 1946. He holds a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology in Tehran.