A judiciary spokesman in Tehran said Sunday that the brother of President Hassan Rouhani, Hossein Fereidoun, was under arrest over allegations of financial impropriety, and a US citizen was sentenced to 10 years in prison for “infiltrating” the country.
The identity of the US citizen was not immediately clear and did not directly match the background of anyone known to be held in the Islamic Republic.
Fereidoun was part of the negotiating team that sealed Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers in 2015 and has long been targeted by Iran’s hardliner. They accused him of giving away too much for the deal.
DEBKAfile adds: The Revolutionary Guards have stepped up their campaign against the president. His brother;s arrest coincided with nuclear deal’s second anniversary Rouhani himself was elected president on a pledge to cut down on state allocations to the Guards and reduce their vast economic empire, which operates outside government control and the state budget..