Iran General NewsGrandson of Iran's Rafsanjani may face charges-agency

Grandson of Iran’s Rafsanjani may face charges-agency

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ImageReuters: A grandson of former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani could face security-related charges after he was detained for taking part in opposition protests last year, a news agency said on Sunday. ImageTEHRAN (Reuters) – A grandson of former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani could face security-related charges after he was detained for taking part in opposition protests last year, a news agency said on Sunday.

Hassan Lahouti, believed to be in his 20s, was detained on March 21 by police at Tehran airport after arriving on a flight from abroad.

Iranian media later said he was freed on bail after he had expressed regret for participating in the protests that erupted after a disputed presidential election in June 2009.

On Sunday, the ISNA news agency cited Tehran's Revolutionary Court as saying an investigative report on Lahouti would be sent to the court, "under the charge of committing security breaches against the establishment". It did not elaborate.

Rafsanjani, who heads the Assembly of Experts, is still a powerful player in the Islamic establishment and a rival of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose re-election plunged Iran into turmoil last year.

The pro-reform opposition says the poll was rigged, a charge denied by the authorities.

Thousands of people protesting against the conduct of the election were arrested after the vote, which exposed deepening establishment divisions. Most have since been released, although more than 80 people have received jail sentences of up to 15 years. Two people tried after the election have been executed.

Lahouti's mother, Faezeh Hashemi, was among several of Rafsanjani's relatives held briefly for joining rallies in June, when the unrest first erupted.

Rafsanjani has been criticised by Ahmadinejad's supporters for what they said was his failure to give full backing to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the crackdown on the protest movement.

Rafsanjani expressed support for Khamenei, a Shi'ite Muslim jurist who holds ultimate authority in the Islamic Republic, at a meeting of the Assembly of Experts in February.

ISNA also said a relative of Rafsanjani's wife who had received a one-year jail term for propaganda against the Islamic establishment must return to prison after having been granted leave for the Iranian new year holidays last month.

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