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Former Ahmadinejad VP Detained

Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaking with his close aid Hamid Baghaei, UNDATED.

Iranian authorities have detained former Vice President Hamid Baghaei, according to the media adviser for former President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

Baghaei was detained in front of his house in Tehran on July 9 and taken into custody after he was unable to raise 500 billion rials (more than $15 million) bail.

“The inspector claimed that Baghaei was summoned to the court and since he did not comply, a warrant for his arrest was issued,” said adviser Ali Akbar Javanfekr. “The claim is totally baseless as Baghaei received no warrant.”

Earlier, in May 2015, Baghaei was detained for seven months without being charged.

Baghaei, who was Ahmadinejad’s deputy in executive matters during his second term as president, nominated himself along with his boss for presidency in May’s presidential election. Both were disqualified.

After his disqualification, Ahmadinejad along with Baghaei appeared in a video clip declaring they would not support any candidate and whoever were to win the election would change nothing.

“The judiciary, after two years of investigation, has not yet been able to bring charges against Baghaei, and that highlights the weakness of the Justice Department,” Javanfekr wrote in a statement on Dolat-e Bahar, a pro-Ahmadinejad government website.

Baghaei is not the only member of Ahmadinejad’s administration who has been detained.

In January, former Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi was also jailed for five years and ordered to pay 38.5 billion rials in connection with a money-laundering and embezzlement scheme said to be worth billions of dollars.

Later, a letter written by Rahimi and addressed to Ahmadinejad was leaked and linked the former president to a financial scandal. However, Ahmadinejad denied any involvement.

Ahmadinejad was the political favorite of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei until the former president during his second term insisted on replacing Khamenei’s favored intelligence minister. After days of negotiations, Ahmadinejad relented and reinstated the supreme leader’s choice for the Intelligence Ministry. But the rift between Khamenei and Ahmadinejad deepened and led to Ahmadinejad’s disqualification from the May presidential election.

Meanwhile, according to judiciary sources, a legal case against Ahmadinejad is also open and under investigation.