Los Angeles: Beverly Hills installed an Iranian-born businessman as the celebrity enclave’s new mayor, reportedly making him the highest-ranking Iranian-American elected official in the United States.
Jimmy Delshad, 67, who immigrated to US 48 years ago, took his new appointment amid heightened US-Iranian tensions on 27 March, though the international row was not an issue in the campaign.
Delshad described his elevation to mayor as “very, very exciting.” He said, “I have great plans and I’m looking forward to put my plans into effect.”
He was re-elected to the five-member city council on 6 March after claiming 2,579 votes in the 35,000-strong celebrity enclave, home to around 8,000 Iranians, many of whom arrived after the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Delshad won one of two places which was up for grabs in the election, securing a second four-year term on the council, which annually rotates the largely ceremonial mayor’s position among its five members.
The incumbent, Steve Webb, finished behind Delshad and had to cede the position to the businessman.
The Washington-based National Iranian American Council had said Delshad would become the highest-ranking Iranian-American elected official in the US.
Delshad had vowed during the campaign to make Beverly Hills “the safest and smartest city in America,” with “smart cameras” to monitor parking lots and schools, “smart traffic lights” to reduce traffic jams, and wireless Internet access throughout the city west of Los Angeles.