London- Iran’s judiciary spokesperson Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejeie announced on Sunday that the brother of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his personal advisor, Hossein Fereydoun, was arrested on financial crime charges.
In a weekly-televised press conference, Ejeie said the decision to arrest Rouhani’s brother came following multiple investigations on financial crime charges, adding that other people were also investigated in relation to the case, some of whom are already in jail.
“Yesterday, bail was issued for him but because he failed to secure it he was referred to prison,” Ejeie said.
The timing of the arrest drives question marks over its incentives, particularly when Rouhani is preparing to swear the presidential constitutional oath and present his new government lineup at the start of next month.
Informed Iranian sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Rouhani informed the judiciary about his refusal that the current Justice Minister Mostafa Pourmohamadi remains in office.
For his part, Ali Shakouri-Rad, secretary general of the reformist Islamic Union Party of Iran hoped on Sunday that the judicial decision to arrest Fereydoun “does not affect the next government lineup.”
Shakouri-Rad also asked Rouhani to stay clam in facing the news of his brother’s arrest.
During the same briefing on Sunday, Ejeie said that the Iranian Judiciary also sentenced to ten years an American man holding several nationalities after accusing him of “infiltrating” the country.
“It was verified and determined that he was gathering (information) and was involved in infiltration,” the judiciary spokesman said.
Following news that an unidentified US citizen had been sentenced in Iran to 10 years in prison, AFP reported that the US called on Iran Sunday to immediately release US citizens and other foreigners detained on “fabricated” national security charges.
A State Department official told AFP: “We call for the immediate release of all US citizens unjustly detained in Iran so they can return to their families,” without making specific reference to a person.