The appointment of Mohammad Hassan Malak-Madani still needs the approval of the Interior Ministry. Malak-Madani succeeds reformist Morteza Alviri, who resigned on 13 February following differences with the city council and a campaign by council members to oust him.

Analysts say that Malak-Madani, who was mayor of the city of Isfahan when Karbaschi was governor of Isfahan province in the 1980s, is likely to pursue a similar line to that followed by Karbaschi when he was mayor. Considered to be a reform-oriented technocrat, Karbaschi played a key role in improving Tehran’s infrastructure and changing the capital’s face during his term.

In 1999, Karbaschi was convicted of corruption and jailed, a move that was widely considered an attack by conservative hardliners on the moderate faction supporting President Khatami. Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei pardoned Karbaschi in late 1999.