TEHRAN, Apr. 08 (Press Shia) – City Council members on Sun. rejected the resignation submitted by Tehran’s mayor Mohammad Ali Najafi over ‘ill health’ and voted for his remaining in office.

A session was held on Sunday at the City Council, chaired by Mohsen Hashemi, to discuss the resignation of Tehran’s mayor Mohammad Ali Najafi.

Mr. Najafi handed in his resignation on March 14, citing medical reasons.

“What forced me to hand in my resignation from the City Council was my medical condition,” Najafi said during the session today, adding that he is currently receiving treatment.

“I would like to ask you not to link my resignation to political issues, although intensifying factors are always there to exacerbate the case,” he added.

The Chairman Mohsen Hashemi, speaking before the voting, rejected rumors that the reason behind Najafi’s resignation was lack of support from the City Council, adding that the assumption was “unfair” and “untrue”.   

While Najafi was determined to leave office after an 8-month term as the mayor of the ten-million capital, the Council members rejected his resignation request with 16 votes against and four in favor.

A former long-serving education minister and a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduate, Najafi was voted mayor by the Council last August, taking over from Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, who had held the post for 12 years.

Although he cited ill health, the media picked up on the timing of his resignation which followed his summoning to Tehran Prosecutor’s Office after he came under pressure for attending a ceremony held by Tehran Municipality to mark the International Women’s Day, during which a group of young girls were invited for a dance performance.

The Sunday session thus concluded with the majority of Council members voting against Najafi’s resignation. They requested Najafi to remain in office at the same time as he undergoes treatment for his illness.  

MS