Grandson of fromer Iranian President Rafsanjani held in Tehran

Fars news agency and an opposition website reported on Monday that Iranian authorities have arrested Hassan Lahouti, a grandson of former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, on his  arrival in Iran from London.

“Hassan Lahouti, who left Iran 10 days after the presidential election for London where he resides, was arrested last night on arrival in Tehran by agents carrying judicial orders and taken to prison”, Fars said, quoting an anonymous source close to Rafsanjani’s family. According to opposition website Rahesabz.net, the 23-year-old Lahouti was arrested at the airport and taken to Tehran’s Evin prison.

Rafsanjani, who currently heads two powerful institutions in the Islamic republic, has himself already been arrested twice between 1989 and 1997. Recently he has been criticised by pro-government hardliners for his support of defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi.

The Iranian government in early February ordered wide-scale arrests, curtailed communications and organized a massive show of force by security forces in order to prevent planned protests by the opposition. Since then, antigovernment demonstrators have decreased enormously.