Son of Mahmud Khatami and nephew to Seyyed Hassan Emami (Tehran's Emam Jomeh), Mohammad Khatami was born in Rasht, 1918. Following his primary education, he entered the Military College in 1939 and became second lieutenant. Then he left for England to enter pilot training courses. When returned to Iran, he became the special pilot of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and also his adjutant.
He married to Parvindokht Khadivi, 1945 who brought him a daughter, Sabrieh a constant cause of quarrel between Khatami and his next wife, Fatemeh Pahlavi.
He was known as the first jet pilot and a founding member of Acrojet team in Iran Air force. He was the pilot of the plane who took Mohammad Reza Pahlavi first to Iraq and then to Italy, Aug. 1953. He lost his first wife in a plane crash in 1957 and took the opportunity to marry the Shah's half sister, Fatemeh Pahlavi. The Shah agreed to this and they were married in August 1959 through which he became an influential member of Pahlavi family and a field martial.
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi carried out a plan to filter the staff of the air force in 1958; he retired many of the officers and appointed Khatami as the commander in chief of the air forces with some extra powers and credits to purchase planes and found air bases and a form a powerful air force.
Khatami was a favorite of US military advisers in Iran and in an emergency plane was chosen as a substitute for the Shah which aroused the Shah's suspicion.
A review of Khatami's private papers reveals his family disputes with Fatemeh Pahlavi and the problems existing in the air force, the Shah's indifference towards him, AbdolKarim Ayadi's causing obstructions, and also the Shah's displeasure at his obstinate manners.
Further, Field martial Khatami was active in the commercial, economic and agricultural sections, being a great shareholder of the Northern cement, Fars cement, Bank Etebarat (credit bank) and sugar plant of Karaj.
Eventually, Mohammad Khatami, lost his life in a recreational paragliding which ended in its crash in Dez dam. It was said this was the Shah's wish and most staff in the air force believed the Shah being his killer. Later on Assadollah Alam's memoirs showed that the Shah was not that sad about this affair.
Khatami had two sons by Fatemeh , Kambiz , born in 1962 and Ramin, born in 1967.