Ahmadinejad aide denies reports of his arrest

Arrest comes after Javanfekr gave scathing attack on Iranian president's rival conservatives.

November 21, 2011 13:00
1 minute read.
Eteham, Iranian newspapers

Eteham, Iranian newspapers_311. (photo credit: Reuters)

TEHRAN - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's media adviser denied on Monday reports in local print media that he had been arrested.

"I am in my office at Iran newspaper building and deny all these arrest allegations," Ali Akbar Javanfekr told Reuters by telephone. Iranian media said earlier that Javanfekr had been arrested in his office by the judiciary.

Iran daily closed over Ahmadinejad aide interview

Earlier Monday, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported that Iranian authorities detained Javanfekr, without giving a reason for his arrest.

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"A few minutes ago Ali Akbar Javanfekr was arrested after holding a news conference with local media," Mehr said.

Iranian media reported on Sunday that Javanfekr was sentenced to a year in jail and banned from journalism over a publication which was deemed to have offended public decency.

Javanfekr is also the head of Iran's state news agency IRNA.

Witnesses said "security forces fired tear gas inside the building of the state-run Iran newspaper", where Javanfekr was giving the news conference.

Iranian authorities shut down reformist Etemad newspaper on Sunday after it published a scathing attack by Javanfekr on the president's rival conservatives. The daily is banned from publishing for two months for "disseminating lies and insults to officials in the establishment."

Iran's conservatives accuse Ahmadinejad of being in the thrall of a "deviant current" of advisers seeking to undermine the authority of the clergy in the Islamic Republic's system of government.

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