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Deputy of ex-Iranian President Ahmadinejad arrested

March 18, 2018 at 8:34 am

Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei briefly held position of vice president under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after 2009 poll

A deputy of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was arrested as part of an investigation by the country’s revolutionary court, according to the state channel on Saturday.

In November, Iran’s Revolutionary Court had summoned Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei — who briefly held the position of vice president under Ahmadinejad — to answer to a raft of criminal charges.

Rahim Mashaei faces accusations of “disseminating propaganda against Iran’s ruling regime”, “slandering the leader” (a reference to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei), and “inciting the public to hatred”.

Rahim Mashaei briefly served as Ahmedinejad’s vice-president following Iran’s 2009 election but was abruptly dismissed after a week.

He tried to run in the 2013 presidential election, but his candidacy was blocked by Iran’s Guardian Council of the Constitution, which holds considerable power in Iran.

Separately, Hamid Baghaei, who also served under Ahmadinejad was sentenced to 15 years in jail on corruption charges.