Tehran (AsiaNews) – Iranian authorities have issued a warrant for the arrest of Hossein Ferydoun, brother of President Hassan Rouhani, after he failed to meet bail terms on unspecified financial issues. He was taken into custody.
He was linked to officials at the centre of a scandal involving inflated salaries for managers at the state insurance firm. He has always denied any wrongdoing.
The story has dragged on for more than a year and popped up in the recent presidential campaign that saw his brother, President Hassan Rouhani, win a second mandate.
Corruption and the economy played a key role during the election debate. Mr Rouhani’s rivals, in particular Ebrahim Raisi, have accused the president of blocking an inquiry into corruption against relatives.
Allegations were also made against government ministers concerning links to illegal imports with accusations that the president himself received heavily subsidised public properties.
"Multiple investigations have been conducted regarding this person [Mr Ferydoun],” said Gholamhosseing Mohseni-Ejeie, a spokesman for the judiciary.
"Yesterday, bail was issued for him, but because he failed to secure it he was referred to prison’” Mohseni-Ejeie added. “[O]ther people have been investigated [as well], some of whom are in jail”.
The so-called "payslip scandal" began in May last year, when salaries of top managers became public. Some were about 50 times the minimum public-sector wage. Since then, the affair has continued to top media coverage. (DS)