Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Photo: AP
Iran arrests Ahmadinejad ally Malekzadeh
Former deputy foreign minister arrested on unspecified charges

Iran's judiciary has arrested Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh, an ally of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on unspecified charges, an unnamed official told the semi-official Fars news agency on Thursday.


"Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh was arrested a few hours ago," Fars said. Malekzadeh resigned from his position as deputy foreign minister on Tuesday.



Malekzadeh's resignation came in the wake of pressure by hardline politicians, who accused him of being part of a "deviant current" trying to undermine the role of Iran's influential clerics.


Some lawmakers also accused Malekzadeh of financial corruption, which he denied.


Malekzadeh is an ally of the president's controversial chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, who is accused by hardliners of being the head of the "deviant current".


Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi was warned by parliamentarians to dismiss Malekzadeh or risk impeachment.  


Dudi Cohen contributed to this report 



First published: 06.23.11, 14:25
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