Mohammad Ali Najafi, then mayor of Tehran, attends a press conference. File picture: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP

Tehran - One of Iran's leading politicians has been sentenced to death after an Iranian court found him guilty of killing his wife, Iran's judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said Tuesday.

Iranian news agency ISNA cited Esmaili as saying that Mohammad Ali Najafi was convicted of murdering his second wife, Mitra, in May.

According to Islamic law, the victim's family has the right to exercise "retribution" by demanding the death penalty for the perpetrator, but they could also renounce this right.

Najafi's lawyer wants to appeal the verdict.

The high-profile trial of the 67-year-old politician, who serves as economic adviser to President Hassan Rowhani, has dominated public debate in Iran for several weeks.

The details of the case have yet to be confirmed, but the victim allegedly cheated on her husband with a younger man.

Najafi, a reformist, mathematician and professor, served as science and education minister in the past. Until March 2018, he was the mayor of Tehran.