TEHRAN — Iran's supreme leader has pardoned the popular, reform-minded former mayor of Tehran after seven months in prison, a move seen as part of an effort by hard-liners to project a more moderate image ahead of parliamentary elections.
Gholamhossein Karbaschi was imprisoned on corruption charges, which he denied, and sentenced to two years in prison. Now he is poised to plunge back into public life and will soon launch a daily newspaper, according to Parvin Emami, a journalist who is working with him.
"I think that involvement in politics has a price, and Mr. Karbaschi has paid that price. Now he should be allowed to return to the field as an active politician," Emami said Tuesday.
Reached by telephone at his home in Tehran, Karbaschi declined to comment.
Tehran radio said judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi had requested that Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, pardon Karbaschi.
The pardon had been expected since Karbaschi left prison earlier this month after being granted a leave. It was not known when the pardon was granted.