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.
Death toll rises following suspected accident during Friday's military exercise at inter-Korean border
Proposal by Moro Islamic Liberation Front has Duterte’s support
Agriculture Ministry confirms dozens of farms used illegal insecticides
Ministry of Interior directs all security units to be extra vigilant on 99th Independence Day
Several others also sustained injuries in ‘unidentified explosion’ at inter-Korean border
Residents of the eastern city of Hangzhou -- home to e-commerce giant Alibaba -- can now register their internet-related civil complaints online and wait to log onto to their trial via videochat.
Each of the dead men has a number in Roman numerals drawn in black pen above their bare feet to help the morticians keep track of the bodies that churn through each night. One of them is marked VI.
Rear Admiral Travis Sinniah is the first Tamil to head a wing of the military since 1970, even though Tamils make up around 15 percent of Sri Lanka's population.
South Korea's President Moon Jae-In moved to reassure his citizens that Seoul has an effective veto on US military action, after weeks of sabre-rattling from both US President Donald Trump and the North's Kim Jong-Un.
Most of the victims are children, an official from Department of Disaster Management says
South Korean leader Moon Jae-in says Pyongyang’s nuclear threat must be resolved by peaceful means
Operation against ISIL in eastern Afghanistan injures several soldiers
President Joko Widodo asks nation to fight terrorism, drugs and illegal fishing
International human rights watch claims Duterte has unleashed a human rights calamity
In one of the deadliest operations of the war, police reported killing 32 people in raids on Monday on suspected drug traffickers in Bulacan province, which neighbours the capital of Manila.
Duterte has waged an unprecedented crackdown on drugs during his 14 months in power that has seen police and suspected vigilantes kill thousands of people, leading to warnings by rights groups that he may be overseeing a crime against humanity.