[QODLink]
Middle East
Ahmadinejad's ally 'arrested' in Iran
Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh, who quit as deputy foreign minister two days ago, detained over unspecified charges.
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2011 13:12
Khamenei (L) and Ahmadinejad (C) are said to be in a power struggle over the ruling of the country[EPA]

Iran's ex-deputy foreign minister - an ally of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - has been arrested on unspecified charges, an unnamed official has told the semi-official Fars news agency.

Malekzadeh had resigned from his position as deputy foreign minister on Tuesday.

"Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh was arrested a few hours ago," Reuters news agency reported citing Fars on Thursday.

His resignation came in the wake of pressure by hardline politicians, who accused him of being part of a "deviant current" trying to undermine the role of Iran's influential religious leaders.

Some members of parliament also accused him of financial corruption.

Malekzadeh was considered close to Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, the president's controversial chief of staff, whom the conservatives accuse of being the head of the "deviant current".

Malekzadeh had been at the centre of a dispute between members of parliament, who opposed his nomination, and Ali-Akbar Salehi, Iran’s foreign minister.

Salehi's initial refusal to remove him prompted more than 30 parliamentarians to petition the speaker for the minister’s impeachment.

The row over his position is part of a wider power struggle among the country's ruling conservatives, who are divided between an absolute majority supporting Ayatollah Ali Khomenei, the supreme leader, who has the final say in all state affairs, and a minority who back Ahmadinejad.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Report on child sex abuse in British Asian community highlights issues that may affect the entire nation.
Taliban makes quick gains in Afghanistan with little opposition from Afghan army as US withdrawal begins.
Analysts say China moving back toward 1950s-era public trials aimed at shaming and intimidation.
Record numbers of migrants have made harrowing sea journeys to Italy and Greece this year.
In Vietnam, 40 percent of all pregnancies are terminated each year, a rate that health officials are hoping to reduce.
join our mailing list