Ex-presidents grandson held

TEHRAN: Iranian authorities have arrested a grandson of former president turned opposition supporter Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on his arrival from London, Fars news agency and an opposition website said today.

“Hassan Lahouti, who left Iran 10 days after the presidential election for London where he resides, was arrested last night on arrival in Tehran by agents carrying judicial orders and taken to prison,” Fars said, quoting an unnamed source close to Rafsanjani’s family.

The source did not

give a reason for Lahouti’s arrest.

Opposition website

Rahesabz.net reported that the 23-year-old

was arrested at the airport and taken to Tehran’s

Evin prison.

It quoted unnamed sources saying Lahouti’s detention “may have

to do with some hardliners’ claims about the role of Hashemi Rafsanjani’s daughter Faezeh in the post-election events.” Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani is Lahouti’s mother and has been denounced for her alleged involvement in inciting riots. Several months ago,

the outspoken member

of the ex-president’s family was briefly detained and later released.

Rafsanjani himself, who held office twice between 1989 and 1997, has also been heavily criticised by hardliners for his support of the defeated opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi in his challenge to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Mousavi and hundreds of thousands of opposition supporters took to the streets after Ahmadinejad’s re-election last June, protesting that the poll was massively rigged, which prompted a crackdown on dissent.

Rafsanjani currently heads two powerful

institutions in the Islamic republic, the Assembly

of Experts which has

the power to supervise and replace the supreme leader and the arbitration body the Expediency Council.