Iran ex-mayor sentenced to death


The reformist politician had confessed to fatally shooting his second wife and leaving her body in a bathtub. The victim’s family called for “eye for an eye”-like punishment, saying he should be executed for her murder.

Iran: Mohammad-Ali Najafi (picture-alliance/R. Fouladi)

Iranian judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili on Tuesday said former Tehran mayor Mohammed Ali Najafi had been sentenced to death for fatally shooting his second wife, Mitra Ostad

The reformist politician left her body in a bathtub and turned himself in after committing the crime. He confessed to murdering her, with officials saying the couple had domestic issues.

“The charge sheet included premeditated murder, battery and possession of an illegal firearm,” said Esmaili. “The court has established premeditated murder and passed the execution sentence.”

Mohammad Ali Najafi

Before becoming Tehran mayor, Najafi had served as Iran’s science and education minister

Death sentence

Ostad’s family had called for an Islamic law of retribution to be applied in the case, which the court agreed to. However, Najafi has 20 days to appeal the conviction.

“The sentence is not yet final and can be appealed at the Supreme Court,” Esmaili said.

Last year, at least 273 people were executed, marking a 48% decrease compared to the year before. Iran is one of 55 countries that retain capital punishment.

Rights groups have called on Iran — and other countries such as the US — to formally outlaw the practice, arguing that it undermines human dignity.