Iran sentences brother of senior vice president to 2 years

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has sentenced the brother of the country’s senior vice president to two years in prison on corruption charges, the website of the Iranian judiciary reported Tuesday.

According to the judiciary’s spokesman, Gholamhossein Esmaili, the verdict for Mahdi Jahangiri, the brother of Eshaq Jahangiri, is final and cannot be appealed.

Mahdi Jahangiri was on the board of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce and was also the founder of the private Gardeshgari Bank.

Esmaili said charges against the banker included “professional currency smuggling” in the amounts of 607,100 euros and $108,000. Mahdi Jahangiri was also ordered to return the funds and fined four times the amounts in question.

Jahangiri was arrested in October 2017 and released on bail in March 2018, pending trial. Few details of the case have since emerged in public, though his brother Eshaq Jahangiri was quoted at the time of the arrest as saying that Mahdi’s detention was “predictable” and “expected” and that he hoped “everyone will be treated equally in the quest for justice.”

In October 2019, President Hassan Rouhani’s brother, Hossein Fereidoun, was sentenced to five years on financial misconduct charges dating back to 2016.

The charges against Fereidoun were brought by hard-liners who dominate Iran’s judiciary. Iran has in the past jailed allies of former presidents on similar charges.

Tensions between Rouhani and Iran’s hard-liners escalated further after former President Donald Trump pulled America out of the 2015 nuclear deal and stepped up economic sanctions on Tehran.

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