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Rouhani's Brother Accuses IRGC Of Eavesdropping On President's Office

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) speaks with Hossein Fereydoun (C), the brother of Iranian President, and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (R), on the sidelines of nuclear talks in Vienna, July 14, 2015. File photo

After surrendering to serve his five-year term in prison, the younger brother of Iran’s president, Hossein Fereydoun claimed in a statement October 16 that the judge had convicted him based on eavesdropping on the presidential office.

A close advisor to Hassan Rouhani, Fereydoun did not name the body or persons responsible for the eavesdropping. Nevertheless, it is public knowledge that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Intelligence Organization had been behind the lawsuit against him.

Fereydoun, who, unlike his brother, has not changed his last name, was placed behind bars in Tehran's notorious prison, Evin.

He was arrested and imprisoned in 2017 but later released on a $15 million bail. He was one of Rouhani's closest advisors, known as the president's "eyes and ears" during Iran's negotiations over its nuclear program.

He has not explained what evidence related to his case was obtained by eavesdropping on the president's office.

A court convicted him for "receiving bribes" last May and sentenced to seven years.

An appeals court later reduced the jail term to five but ordered him to return any asset that he had acquired illegally and fined him $7.2 million.

"The whole legal case against me is based on eavesdropping, including eavesdropping on the President's office," Fereydoun has complained in his statement, calling his brother's administration and the Islamic Republic judiciary to investigate his claim.

However, he has immediately said in a sarcastic tone that "When the executor, complainant, and the judge are incorporated are the same, one cannot expect a better situation as we have now. I seek refuge from the (Islamic Republic) Judiciary with the public opinion."

Furthermore, he has insisted in his statement that the total amount of the disputed money in the legal case against him belongs to an individual who loaned it to another person, and he only acted as the guarantor without pocketing a penny of it.

"Prove me wrong, or hang me," Fereydoun has lamented.

According to the IRGC-linked news agency, Fars, one of the charges against Fereydoun was receiving a bribe from Rasoul Danialzadeh, a man who was arrested in 2016 for owing more than 20 trillion rials (approximately $600 million to some banks in Iran.

An ultraconservative former member of Majles (parliament), Alireza Zakani disclosed on October 2 that Danialzadeh had fled Iran.

The United States has repeatedly condemned institutionalized financial corruption in Iran and the plundering of Iran's resources by relatives of senior officials in the Iranian regime. The U.S. considers this as one of the main causes of Iran's economic and financial problems. Recently, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted about Iran's authorities, saying that they were involved in corruption instead of helping the Iranian people.

Hossein Fereydoun started his career as the head of security guarding the founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Khomeini, when he returned to Iran in 1979. Fereydoun was later appointed as Tehran's ambassador to Kuala Lumpur and held the office for eight years, before joining Iran's delegation to the United Nations.