Middle East

Former Iran vice president convicted: report

File - Monday, Sept. 19, 2011, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left, talks to Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, as Ahmadinejad prepares to depart Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

TEHRAN: Iran’s former vice president has been convicted of a charge that includes a prison term and a cash fine, a spokesman for the Islamic Republic’s judiciary said Monday, though details about the case were not announced.

The conviction of Mohammad Reza Rahimi, a top aide to former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, comes after repeated allegations by foes of Iran’s previous hard-line government of massive corruption. Rahimi has maintained his innocence and judicial spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehei also said that the conviction had yet to be finalized, without elaborating.

“I refrain from revealing details of the verdict until it is not finalized,” Ejehei was quoted as saying by the semiofficial ISNA news agency.

In March, the reformist daily newspaper Shargh quoted a judge as saying that Rahimi had been indicted and that his case would be referred to a special court. It did not elaborate then on the charges.

Iran has 11 vice presidents but Rahimi was the most senior among them in Ahmadinejad’s government. Previously, Ahmadinejad had defended Rahimi, saying that his complaints against the accusations should be investigated as well while maintaining he had the “most clean administration” in Iran’s history.

However, allegations dogged Ahmadinejad’s government in its later years. In 2010, some of Ahmadinejad’s political foes alleged Rahimi had a part in a major government embezzlement scheme, without releasing details. Lawmakers accused Rahimi of signing falsified financial documents.

Iran is in the middle of a 20-year plan to decentralize and privatize its economy. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned officials over possible corruption during implementing the program.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on September 02, 2014, on page 9.




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