Iran judiciary detains President Rouhani’s brother in corruption case
DUBAI - ReutersIranian authorities have detained President Hassan Rouhani’s brother, the judiciary spokesman said on July 16, in a corruption case that the president’s supporters say is politically motivated.
State television quoted spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei as saying Hossein Fereydoun, who is also a close adviser to Rouhani, was summoned for questioning on July 15 in a case in which he faces unspecified financial charges. He was later detained.
“If Fereydoun arranges bail, he will be released,” Mohseni Ejei was quoted as saying. “He has been heard several times, and others have also been questioned, and some of them are being held ... and the case continues.”
No details were available on the amount of bail he needs to pay.
Some Rouhani supporters have interpreted the charges against Fereydoun, a senior diplomat who took part in the talks that led to a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, as a move by the hardline judiciary to discredit the president.
Rouhani was born Hassan Fereydoun before adopting his new surname.
Meanwhile, an Iranian court has sentenced U.S. dual national to 10 years in jail on spying charges, Iran’s judiciary spokesman said, the latest case of dual nationals held on security charges in the country.
The spokesman did not name the person or give details on when the sentence was passed but said the person was a citizen of the United States and an unnamed country other than Iran.
“This person, who was gathering information and was directly guided by America, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but the sentence can be appealed,” Ejei said.
It was not immediately clear whether he was referring to Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese citizen with permanent U.S. residency, who has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and a $4.2 million fine after he was found guilty of collaborating against the state, according to his U.S.-based lawyer who spoke to reporters in September.
Several Iranian dual nationals from the United States, Britain, Austria, Canada and France have been detained in the past year and are being kept behind bars on charges including espionage and collaborating with hostile governments.