Rafsanjani’s Grandson Arrested

March 22, 2010
Tehran on Monday arrested the grandson of former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani as he arrived at Tehran’s international airport from London, where he is studying.

The arrest of Hassan Lahouti, 23, was seen by many as an attempt by the Iranian regime to increase pressure on the influential former president and fomer Council of Guardians head, who has spoken out against the current regime’s repression of members of the oppoisition following the controversial June 2009 presidential election, in which the incumbant President Ahmadinejad claimed a victory.

According to a New York Times report, another relative of Mr. Rafsanjani, the reformist politician Hussein Marashi, was arrested and sentenced to one year in jail on Thursday.

Lahouti left his native Iran 10 days after the disputed election. He was returning home for the Persian New Year when he was arrested. The Times quoted the opposition website Jaras as reporting that Lahouti had been taken to Section 209 of Evin Prison, where political prisoners are held.

A court has also summoned Rafsanjani’s son, Mehdi Hashemi, who supported the opposition leader Mir Hussein Moussavi during the recent presidential election.

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