One day after it was announced that former Tehran Deputy Mayor Issa Sharifi was arrested on financial charges, a City Hall official on September 4 insisted that the arrest had nothing to do with Sharifi’s government duties.
Mehr News Agency quoted City Hall’s security director as saying there have been no pending cases of financial wrongdoing related to Sharifi and the arrest is unrelated to the time he served as a city official.
A day earlier, judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei had announced that Sharifi was arrested on charges of financial wrongdoing, saying he had no further details about the arrest.
The news of Sharifi’s arrest comes at a time when powerful former Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, is on Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. A former adviser said that when Ghalibaf returns, he can disclose more details about the case.
Ghalibaf, who is considered a conservative supporter of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was a candidate in this year’s presidential election and later pulled out of the race in favor of the leading conservative candidate.
Ghalibaf served as mayor of Tehran for 12 years until after the May elections when the newly elected city council took over. Sharifi was a powerful City Hall official throughout Ghalibaf’s tenure.
During the Ghalibaf administration, there were many accusations of financial improprieties, which the mayor always denied.
Reformist website Entekhab cast doubt on the statement by City Hall’s security director that Sharifi’s arrest is unrelated to his tenure in the city.
After the elections, reports emerged that Sharifi had left the country, although later another city official explained that Sharifi’s daughter was ill and he had taken his daughter abroad for medical treatment.
Sharifi has had a long-running close association with Ghalibaf since they served together in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and security forces.