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Iran president’s brother arrested on charges of financial crime

Fereydoun has acted as a key advisor and gatekeeper to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

world Updated: Jul 16, 2017 22:26 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani,Hossein Fereydoun,deputy judiciary chief Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejeie
Hossein Fereidoun, brother and top aide of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in Tehran on July 3, 2017.(AP)

The younger brother of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Hossein Fereydoun, was arrested on financial crime charges, the judiciary said on Sunday.

“Multiple investigations have been conducted regarding this person, also other people have been investigated, some of whom are in jail,” deputy judiciary chief Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejeie said in a televised press conference.

“Yesterday, bail was issued for him but because he failed to secure it he was referred to prison,” Ejeie said, adding that he would be released if he secures bail, pending trial.

Fereydoun has acted as a key advisor and gatekeeper to Rouhani.

News of his arrest comes a year after the head of the General Inspection Organisation, Naser Seraj, accused him of financial violations.

Conservatives have demanded Fereydoun be put on trial, accusing of him of receiving zero-interest loans and influencing the appointment of a bank director who Rouhani had to dismiss for taking a enormous salary.

US calls for release of detained US citizens

The United States called on Iran to immediately release US citizens and other foreigners detained on “fabricated” national security charges, after Tehran said an unnamed American has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

“We call for the immediate release of all US citizens unjustly detained in Iran so they can return to their families,” a state department official said.

The statement made no specific reference to any individual, but it came after an Iranian spokesman announced the sentencing of an unidentified US citizen for alleged “infiltration” of the country.

First Published: Jul 16, 2017 21:39 IST