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International

Iranian president's brother freed on bail

12:30, Tuesday, 18 July, 2017
Iranian president's brother freed on bail

Hossein Fereydoun, the brother of Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, has been released on bail following his arrest on charges of financial crime, media reported.

"The court has accepted the bail" and Mr Fereydoun, who acts as a key adviser to Mr Rouhani, was freed on Monday night, the ISNA news agency said.

Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejeie announced Mr Fereydoun's arrest on Sunday, saying he was the subject of "multiple investigations".

The amount of bail was not officially disclosed but local media reported that the court had reduced it to 350 billion rials (Dh34.2 million), from 500 billion rials initially.

The arrest is seen as part of a long-running feud between the presidency and the judiciary that has taken new turns in recent months, particularly before and after Mr Rouhani's re-election in May.

The conservative-dominated judiciary has clashed with Mr Rouhani, who has sought to ease social restrictions and release political prisoners.

Mr Rouhani has not yet commented on the arrest and has not appeared in public since it was announced except to attend a cabinet meeting.

Mr Fereydoun's arrest came a year after the head of the General Inspection Organisation, Naser Seraj, first accused him of financial violations.

Mr Seraj alleged Mr Fereydoun had influenced the appointment of two bank directors, one of whom was accused by the Revolutionary Guards of involvement in a "large corruption scandal".

The other was fired as part of a widespread scandal into exorbitant salaries at public institutions.

Conservatives have demanded that Mr Fereydoun be put on trial, accusing him of receiving zero-interest loans among other violations.

The brothers do not share the same name because Mr Rouhani changed his when he was younger to a word meaning "cleric".

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