IRAN: FORMER VP MOHAMMAD ALI NAJAFI GETS DEATH SENTENCE FOR KILLING WIFE
July 31, 2019:
Iran's state TV says a former mayor of Tehran who also served as one of the country's vice presidents was sentenced to death on 30 July 2019 for killing his wife. Tuesday's report quotes judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili as saying that Mohammad Ali Najafi was convicted of fatally shooting his wife, Mitra Ostad. The verdict can be appealed within 20 days. (Source: Khaleej Times, 30/07/2019)
Police detained Najafi in May, after he went to authorities and confessed to the killing. At the time, officials said Najafi and Ostad, his 2nd wife, were having domestic problems. Najafi resigned as mayor in 2018, after hard-liners criticized him over a video showing he attended a dance performance by young girls at a school show. Gun violence is very rare in Iran, especially among the country's political and economic elite. A mathematician, professor and veteran politician, Najafi has previously served as President Hassan Rouhani's economic advisor and education minister. He was elected Tehran mayor in August 2017, but resigned the following April after facing criticism from conservatives for attending a dance performance by schoolgirls. Najafi married Ostad without divorcing his first wife, unusual in Iran where polygamy is legal but socially frowned upon.