Iran detains grandson of former president Rafsanjani

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
March 22, 2010 13:45

 
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TEHERAN, Iran — Iranian authorities have detained the grandson of former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the most powerful opposition supporter inside the country's clerical leadership, a local news agency reported Monday.

Hasan Lahouti was arrested at the Teheran airport upon arrival from London late Sunday, the semiofficial Fars news agency said. It did not give a reason for his detention.

Rafsanjani has come under harsh criticism from hard-liners for his support of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi in his challenge to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who the opposition says won the June elections by fraud. Rafsanjani, who served as president in the early 1990s, heads a powerful clerical political council that has the power to choose the country's supreme leader.

Lahouti's mother, Faezeh — Rafsanjani's youngest daughter — has also been a prominent participant in opposition protests since the election.

The Iranian government has arrested thousands and put more than 100 opposition figures on trial in a crackdown aimed at crushing the wave of protests sparked by the election controversy.

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