The Tehran-based Blues’ skipper Voria Ghafouri glanced in a Babak Moradi’s cross with 20 minutes left from normal time to cancel out a Seyyed Hossein Hosseini’s first-half own goal.
A blunter by Esteghlal keeper, making a first appearance in 11 matches, saw the ball cross the goal line after Hosseini failed to grasp it properly following a Nima Entezari’s corner-kick in the 32nd minute.
Hosseini could have made up for his error after his long ball put striker Mehdi Qayedi on his way toward the goal, before his effort from a tight angle hit the post.
Esteghlal could have sealed all three points late in the game, only to see a Farshid Esmaeili’s header and then a Moradi’s strike in the box denied by the woodwork.
Mahmoud Fekri’s side still tops the league, one point clear of second-placed Sepahan and two above San’at Naft Abadan, but could let go of the first spot, should either of the two sides win their respective fixtures against Shahr Khodro and Mes Rafsanjan today.
Elsewhere, Rahman Rezaei’s Zob Ahan clinched a first victory in 13 outings, beating Nassaji Mazandaran away 3-2.
Serbian striker Darko Bjedov opened the scoring for the visitor in the first minute before Mohammad-Mehdi Nazari pulled Nassaji level three minutes later.
Abdollah Hosseini restored the lead for Zob Ahan in the first half, but the home side again equalized through Ayoub Kalantari five minutes after the interval after the Isfahan-based club went down to 10 men with Mojtaba Haqdoust shown a red card.
However, Milad Jahani gave Zob Ahan the lead for the third time in the 56th minute as Rezaei’s men jumped out of the relegation zone, changing places with Nassaji.
Also on Friday, Amir Qalenoei’s Golgohar Sirjan came out victorious against Saipa in Tehran, courtesy of a single goal by Younes Shakeri in the 75th minute.