TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran has issued an arrest warrant for the son of influential cleric and ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the deputy judiciary chief was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency on Tuesday.
“An arrest warrant has been issued for Mehdi Hashemi. He will be arrested and taken to jail,” Ebrahim Raisi said without specifying the accusations.
Judiciary officials had previously said Hashemi, who left Iran for Britain after last year’s disputed presidential election, faces arrest upon his return home.
Hardliners have accused Hashemi of inciting mass street protests which rocked Iran in the wake of the June 2009 vote which saw President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad re-instated in power amid fraud allegations.
Several members of the Rafsanjani family, who openly backed opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi in the election, were briefly detained during the protests.
The animosity between Ahmadinejad and Rafsanjani, who heads two powerful state bodies, was highlighted during the election campaign when the hardliner accused Rafsanjani’s children of financial corruption.
The pragmatic conservative cleric himself refused to openly side with any candidate before the poll.
But Rafsanjani has blasted the authorities over their handling of the post-vote unrest and treatment of opposition supporters, dozens of whom were killed in protests and scores of others jailed.