World Bulletin / News Desk
The son of Iran's former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a founder of the Islamic Republic, was detained on Monday after returning from exile, accused of inciting post-election unrest in 2009.
Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani arrived in Tehran late on Sunday having spent three years in Britain following the widespread protests at the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The 43-year-old presented himself at court to hear the charges and face questioning. His lawyer was not allowed to be present, the Iranian Students' News Agency reported.
Rafsanjani was then transferred to Tehran's Evin prison after the court issued a temporary detention order, news agencies reported.
Analysts say Mehdi's return could indicate a deal has been agreed with authorities to resolve the charges, and may signal a revival in the political fortunes of his father, a grandee of Iranian politics whose star has waned since the election.
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a close aide to the late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, has held most of the Iran's top political positions, including parliament speaker, armed forces commander and president from 1989 to 1997.
But the pragmatic conservative's power has waned since he expressed sympathy for opposition demonstrators after the 2009 vote that triggered the deepest political crisis and worst unrest in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
However, as oil and banking sanctions bite, some are saying Rafsanjani could make a surprise comeback bid for the presidency at an election scheduled for June 2013.
In a sign of his return to favour, Rafsanjani was photographed walking alongside Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei at a Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran last month, and sat next to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
But the wealthy Rafsanjani family remains under pressure. On Saturday, Mehdi's sister Faezeh, a former lawmaker and a women's rights activist, began a six-month jail sentence for "spreading anti-state propaganda".
Faezeh was detained briefly in 2009 after addressing supporters of Ahmadinejad's main election rival, Mirhossein Mousavi, who himself has been under unofficial house arrest since February 2011.
UNRWA, the main U.N. relief agency in Gaza, said it was at "breaking point" with more than 200,000 Palestinians having taken shelter in its schools and buildings
The dead and injured include not just Uighurs but members of China's majority Han Chinese population, the report said.
Three years after Gaddafi's fall, the OPEC nation has failed to control ex-rebel militias who refuse to disband and who are threatening the unity of the country
Providing many examples of ongoing debate around Gaza massacre among Zionists, Philip Weiss from Mondoweiss draws an important picture
Called Abdullah al-Maaraji, the slain officer was the commander of the Yemeni army's infantry brigade that fought against Al-Qaeda in Lawdar District in 2012
The White House has been working closely with lawmakers, privacy experts and technology companies to secure Senate passage of what it considers critical legislation
"Israel's targeting of civilians proves its failure to confront the Palestinian resistance," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement.
Propaganda materials from the National Liberation Army (ELN), which regularly attacks oil facilities in Latin America's fourth largest economy, were left at the sites of the explosions, police
In the latest Israeli attacks in the embattled territory on Tuesday, two people were killed when Israeli troops shelled eastern Rafah. An Israeli raid also targeted a house in the southern city of Khan Younis, killing 17 family members.
The ruling Communist Party has decided to probe Zhou for suspected "serious disciplinary violations", the official Xinhua news agency said in a brief dispatch, using the usual euphemism for corruption.
The African country is sliding into a state of anarchy as rival militia forces battle for control in the capital Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi.
Syria, Central African Republic and Burma lead the world in displacing people on grounds of religious identities, according to report
Militants group stormed the Katarko town, about 25km from Damaturu, the provincial capital of northeastern Yobe state, and shot dead eight people
A magnitude 6.3 earthquake hit southwest of Clara, Veracruz, was felt in Mexico City
A 21-year-old Palestinian, Alaa Azaer, died of gunshot injuries he sustained in clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians protesting a deadly Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip
The labels Belgium has in mind would mainly apply to fruit and vegetables grown in Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley of the West Bank