Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Controversy Over Leaks Uncovers Arrests In Iranian Government, Judiciary

Controversy Over Leaks Uncovers Arrests In Iranian Government, Judiciary

Tuesday, 22 October, 2019 - 10:00
A general view of central Tehran (File photo: Reuters)

Hours after the Iranian government denied the arrest of officials close to the office of President Hassan Rouhani, conservative MP Javad Karimi-Ghodousi said on Monday that security services were chasing “four people in the executive and judicial” bodies, who are suspected of being involved in leaks published by Amad News website.

Karimi-Ghodousi claimed that one of the detainees worked in the office of Hosamuddin Ashna, special adviser to the Iranian president. Another detainee worked in the office of Rouhani, a third in the office of Morteza Bank, an adviser to the Iranian president in the free trade zones, and a fourth detainee in the Iranian judiciary.

Karimi-Ghodousi, who is affiliated with the office of the Iranian spiritual leader, accused the president’s adviser, Hosamuddin Ashna, of cooperating with Amad News and running a “psychological warfare room in the office of the Iranian president.”

Iranian government spokesman Ali Rubaie dismissed information published by the conservative deputy, stressing that he “belied” people who “broke the record of spreading accusations,” according to the official IRNA news agency.

He warned that such accusations “will lead to a decline in public confidence.”

A statement by Revolutionary Guards intelligence said that activist Ruhollah Zam, the director of Amad News, after a "complex operation", without giving further details.

On the other hand, Persian-speaking media issued contradicting reports about the circumstances of the arrest of the news agency director.

Accusations pointed to Zam’s assistant, who reportedly coordinated with the intelligence services to drag the director to Iraq under the pretext of arranging a meeting with Ali Sistani in Najaf.

Sistani’s office last week denied any contact with the director of Amad News.

Editor Picks