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President Rouhani’s Brother Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

The spokesman for the Islamic Republic Judiciary, Gholamhossein Esmaili, announced that Hossein Fereydoun, the brother and former assistant of President Hassan Rouhani has been sentenced to five years in prison by the appeal court.

Esmaili announced in his weekly press conference on Tuesday that Hossein Fereydoun was charged with “accepting bribes.”

Fereydoun was initially sentenced to seven years in prison for financial and economic corruption.

It was announced later that he was exonerated from some of his charges.

Fereydoun who was a virtually unknown character before his brother’s presidency became a public figure due to his participation in the Iran nuclear deal negotiations with world powers.

He was arrested and sent to prison while serving as the president’s assistant and was later released on a bail of 50 billion tomans.

In the last presidential election debates, Ebrahim Raisi, the current chief of judiciary and Rouhani’s main competition at the time, without mentioning Rouhani’s brother, claimed that Rouhani’s closest people are involved in financial corruption.

The spokesman for the judiciary also announced that a suspect of espionage has received the death sentence and several others have received prison sentences for the same crime. He did not name the person who has received the death sentence but claimed that he has received this sentence for “spying for America” and his “broad espionage activities.”

In recent years the Islamic Republic Judiciary has regularly incarcerated dual citizens and civil rights and environmental activists for “espionage” or “attempted infiltration” and several individuals have been executed for these charges. Nizar Zakka, the Lebanese American citizen who was recently released, spent four years in an Iranian prison on the charge of espionage.

There have been disagreements over the cases of espionage between the Judiciary and the Ministry of Intelligence, as in the case of environmental activists.

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