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Iranian Authorities Arrest Vice President's Brother

Mehdi Jahangiri is the brother of Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri. (file photo)

An Iranian news website has reported the arrest of the brother of the country's vice president over various finance-related matters.

The Tabnak website, affiliated with Iran's hard-line Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), reported on October 6 that Eshaq Jahangiri's brother, Mehdi Jahangiri, was taken into custody.

Eshaq Jahangiri appeared to confirm his brother's arrest in a post on Instagram on October 6.

"I have no exact information about how the arrest was made; neither do I know anything about the allegation," he wrote.

He said the arrest was "predictable" and that he hopes it is not a case of political "abuse."

Eshaq Jahangiri, a presidential candidate in the May election, is one of the most prominent reformist figures in President Hassan Rohani's government.

Mehdi Jahangiri runs the Tehran Chamber of Commerce and is also the founder of the private Gardeshgari Bank. He is also the founder Tourism Financial Group that includes several companies working in banking, tourism, construction, oil, gas, petrochemical industry, and mining.

Iranian news website Alef had accused Tourism Financial Group of corruption during the era of President Ahmadinejad. According to Alef, the company had taken possession of more than a million square meters of land in Lavizan, a resort area in northern Tehran, in an “legally inappropriate manner”.

The website had also accused Jahangiri’s group of receiving free lands next to Imam Khomeini International Airport for building Hotels in an “improper” way.

Ehsan Mehrabi, an Iranian journalist residing in Germany, told Radio Farda in an interview that even if people close to the political elite were involved in corruption cases, the judiciary would go after them when it would serve the political interests of the conservatives, .

This has happened also in the case of President Hassan Rouhani’s brother, Hossein Fereidoun. During the last presidential election, Hossein Fereidoun was accused of financial misconduct by President Rouhani’s rivals. He was arrested in July of this year, few days before swearing-in ceremony of his brother and later released on a $15 million bail.

With reporting by AP and Tabnak