A handout picture released by the office of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani shows him speaking to his supporters in the city of Arak on October 23, 2016. / AFP / IRANIAN PRESIDENCY / HO /
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Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has clashed with the country's powerful and conservative judiciary, in a rare public row as tensions rise ahead of this year's presidential election.The moderate Rouhani, who is expected to stand for a second four-year term in the May vote, has targeted the judiciary in a series of public statements over the case of a billionaire businessman on death row for corruption.Judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani has hit back with accusations of his own, and Sunday supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made reference to the dispute.Zanjani was arrested in 2013, three months after Rouhani took office pledging a crackdown on corruption.Last week Larijani hit back, defending the judiciary's handling of the case and criticizing the government for not doing enough to help track down missing funds.That claim appeared to raise the stakes in the dispute and prompted Rouhani to urge the judiciary disclose its own financial dealings.
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