Mohammad-Ali Najafi

Mohammad-Ali Najafi (Persian: محمدعلی نجفی‎; born 13 January 1952) is an Iranian mathematician and reformist politician who was the Mayor of Tehran, serving in the post for eight months, until April 2018. He held cabinet portfolios during the 1980s, 1990s and 2010s. He is also a retired professor of mathematics at Sharif University of Technology.

Mohammad Ali Najafi
Mohammad Ali Najafi at Municipality of Tehran 02 (cropped).jpg
Mayor of Tehran
In office
27 August 2017 – 10 April 2018
Preceded byMohammad Bagher Ghalibaf
Succeeded byMohammad-Ali Afshani
Minister of Science
In office
20 August 2014 – 26 November 2014
PresidentHassan Rouhani
Preceded byReza Farajidana
Succeeded byMohammad Farhadi
In office
17 August 1981 – 1 June 1984
PresidentAli Khamenei
Prime MinisterMir-Hossein Mousavi
Preceded byHassan Arefi
Succeeded byMohammad Farhadi
Vice President of Iran
Head of Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization
In office
19 August 2013 – 30 January 2014
PresidentHassan Rouhani
Preceded byMohammed Sharif Malekzadeh
Succeeded byMohammad Beheshti (Acting)
Member of City Council of Tehran
In office
29 April 2007 – 18 August 2013
Succeeded byAbdolmoghim Nasehi
Majority202,700 (12.24%)
Vice President of Iran
Head of Management and Planning Organization
In office
15 August 1997 – 2 December 2000
PresidentMohammad Khatami
Preceded byHamid Mirzadeh
Succeeded byMohammad-Reza Aref
Minister of Education
In office
13 August 1989 – 10 August 1997
PresidentAkbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Preceded byKazem Akrami
Succeeded byHossein Mozaffar
Personal details
Born (1952-01-13) 13 January 1952 (age 68)
Tehran, Iran
Political partyExecutives of Construction Party
Sarvar Tabeshian (m. 1976)
Mitra Ostad
(m. 2018; died 2019)
Alma materMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Sharif University of Technology
WebsiteOfficial website

Early life and educationEdit

Najafi was born in Tehran on 13 January 1952.[4] He ranked first in Iranian national university entrance exam and enrolled in Sharif University of Technology (then known as Aryamehr University of Technology).[5] He earned a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the Sharif University of Technology. Following his bachelors, he enrolled in the graduate program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his master of science degree in mathematics with the final grade of A+ in 1976 but dropped out of PhD program in 1978 during the Iranian revolution to return to Iran.[6][7]


Following the Iranian revolution of 1979, Najafi returned to Iran and became a faculty member at Isfahan University of Technology in 1979 and he was the chair of the university from 1980 to 1981. He was a faculty member at department of mathematical sciences in Sharif University of Technology from 1984 to 1988, when he moved to government.

At the end of the reformist government of Mohammad Khatami and following Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's election Najafi moved back to university and has been faculty in the department of mathematics at Sharif University of Technology[8] working on representation theory.[7]

He served as an advisor to Mostafa Chamran.[8] He was the minister of higher education from 1981 to 1984 in the cabinet of then Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi.[7][8] In 1989, he became the minister of education under then President Hashemi Rafsanjani and served until 1997.[7][8] In 1997, he was appointed vice president and head of the Planning and Budget Organization by President Mohammad Khatami, but after a merge of the organization with another he was succeeded by Mohammad Reza Aref in the post. Najafi was an advisor to President Khatami and the senior advisor to the minister of industries from 2001 to 2005.[8] In the 2006 Iranian City and Village Councils elections, Najafi ran for a seat in Tehran City Council. He headed a list named "The Union of reformists" (ائتلاف اصلاح‌طلبان). This was the first time Najafi ran in a general election in Iran. He was not seek for a reelection in 2013 election. He was also an advisor to Mahdi Karroubi.[9] He is the cofounder of the Executives of Construction Party.[10]

He was nominated as minister of education by Hassan Rouhani. However, the Parliament did not approve his appointment on 15 August 2013.[11] He received 142 votes in favor, 133 votes against, and 9 abstentions.[9] He was appointed head of Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organization on 17 August.[12] However, Najafi resigned from his position on 30 January 2014 due to health problems, making it the first change in Rouhani's cabinet.[13]

Mayor of TehranEdit

On 21 July 2017, Najafi was the candidate with the most votes among the seven top candidates for Mayor of Tehran[14] and on 10 August 2017, unanimously elected as the new mayor by the City Council of Tehran defeating Elaheh Koulaei and Mohsen Mehralizadeh.[15] The decision was unofficial, and became effective when the council convened its first official meeting on 23 August. After his office-taking took longer than usual, the council appointed a caretaker on 27 August.[16] Hours later and minutes to midnight the Interior Ministry approved his credentials and he took office.[17]

Najafi resigned on 14 March 2018 after a video surfaced of him watching girls dancing, which offended Iranian clerics. However, according to one of the council members, the resignation was due to medical problems.[18]


On 28 May 2019, Najafi's second wife Mitra Ostad was found dead in the bathtub of her home in Sa'adat Abad's Armita Tower. Iranian Police announced she was killed by gunshots, with a bullet in her heart and another in her arm. Hours later, Najafi confessed to murder by referral to police.[19][20] Head of Tehran police's criminal investigation department said he was in detention and discovered the weapons he shot with. A video was also broadcast on these details. On 30 July 2019, he was sentenced to death for murdering his wife. However, he was temporally released from prison on 28 August 2019 after family of his former wife satisfied.[21]


  1. ^ "Biography". Archived from the original on 29 October 2018. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Wife of Iran presidential adviser shot dead at home". Arab News. 28 May 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  3. ^ "همه چیز درباره محمد علی نجفی". Farda News. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Joint Crisis: Supreme Defense Council of Iran, 1980" (PDF). Harvard Model United Nations. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
  5. ^ "نجفی رئیس سازمان میراث فرهنگی و". Fars News.
  6. ^ Mohammad Ghouchani (26 November 2006). "Why Najavi? (چرا نجفی؟)" (in Persian). Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 17 December 2006.
  7. ^ a b c d "Faculty". Website of the Department of Mathematical Science of Sharif University of Technology. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2006.
  8. ^ a b c d e Paper publicity leaflet distributed by Setād-e Entexābāti-e Mohammad Ali Najafi (ستاد انتخاباتی محمدعلی نجفی), December 2006.
  9. ^ a b Karami, Arash (15 August 2013). "Three Rouhani Cabinet Nominees Rejected". Al Monitor. Archived from the original on 19 August 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2013. Mohammad Ali Najafi, nominated for education minister, was regularly attacked for his position on the 2009 election protests and for being a senior adviser to Mehdi Karroubi, the Reformist candidate who is currently under house arrest for contesting the results of the 2009 elections. ... In order for a nominee to be approved, he needs to receive at least half plus one of the 290 total votes.
  10. ^ "Iran politics: Rowhani takes a centre line in his cabinet nominees". ViewsWire. 8 August 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  11. ^ "Three ministerial nominees fail to win Iran Majlis confidence vote". PressTV. 15 August 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  12. ^ "Rowhani names Fani as caretaker of education ministry". Jamejam Online. 18 August 2013. Archived from the original on 24 October 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  13. ^ "Rouhani accepts Najafi's resignation". Tabnak. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  14. ^ Maryam Qarehgozlou (21 July 2017). "Final line-up for post of Tehran mayor revealed". Tehran Times. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  15. ^ "Incoming City Council Elects Najafi as Tehran Mayor", Tasnim News Agency, 10 August 2017, 1488155, retrieved 10 August 2017
  16. ^ "Tehran City Council Names Caretaker Mayor", Tasnim News Agency, 27 August 2017, 1502807, retrieved 27 August 2017
  17. ^ "Tehran Mayor Takes Office", Financial Tribune, 29 August 2017, 1502807, retrieved 29 August 2017
  18. ^ Erdbrink, Thomas (12 March 2018). "Tehran's Mayor Watched a Dance Recital. Now He's the Ex-Mayor". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  19. ^ "Ex-Vice President of Iran Confesses to Murder of Wife". Iran Front Page. 28 May 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  20. ^ "محمدعلی نجفی 'به قتل همسرش اعتراف کرده است'". BBC Persian. 28 May 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  21. ^ Former Mayor Of Tehran Released After Conviction For Wife's Murder

  Media related to Mohammad-Ali Najafi at Wikimedia Commons

Academic offices
Preceded by
Seied Hossein Taheri
Chancellor of the Isfahan University of Technology
Succeeded by
Mohammad Mehdi Saadatpour
Political offices
Preceded by
Hassan Arefi
Minister of Culture and Higher Education
Succeeded by
Mohammad Farhadi
Preceded by
Kazem Akrami
Minister of Education
Succeeded by
Hossein Mozaffar
Preceded by
Hamid Mirzadeh
Head of Management and Planning Organization
Succeeded by
Mohammad-Reza Aref
Preceded by
Mohammed Sharif Malekzadeh
Head of Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization
Succeeded by
Mohammad Beheshti
Preceded by
Reza Farajidana
Acting Minister of Science, Research and Technology
Succeeded by
Mohammad Farhadi
Civic offices
Preceded by
Mostafa Salimi
Mayor of Tehran
Succeeded by
Samiollah Hosseini Makarem
Party political offices
New title
Party established
Head of Executives of Construction Party's Central Council
Succeeded by
Eshaq Jahangiri