Former Iranian Vice President Sentenced To Prison For 'Threatening National Security'

Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, a vice president, chief of staff, and senior aide under former Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, has been sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison after being convicted on charges including threatening national security, Iranian media report.

A top press aide to Ahmadinejad, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, received a four-year prison sentence in the same case, the official government news agency IRNA reported on September 12. IRNA cited the chief justice of Tehran Province, who said the sentences can be appealed within 20 days.

Ahmadinejad, a hard-line conservative who was president from 2005 to 2013, has in the past criticized Iran's powerful judiciary over the arrests of his aides and supporters including Mashaei, who was arrested in March.

Hamid Baghaei, a former vice president and close Ahmadinejad aide, was sentenced to 15 years in prison in December following a conviction on corruption charges. Baghaei was jailed in March.

The Guardians Council -- which vets presidential candidates -- prevented Ahmadinejad and Baghaei from running in the 2017 presidential election that returned President Hassan Rohani to office for a second term.

Based on reporting by IRNA, Fars, and Reuters