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Iran first vice president faces corruption charges

Iran first vice president faces corruption charges

Iran's first vice president is facing corruption charges and will have to stand trial, the judiciary said Monday.
Conservative lawmakers have openly accused First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi of financial corruption in recent months, but this was the first confirmation of charges against him. Rahimi has denied the charges and threatened to sue his accusers.
The case is the latest jolt at the highest levels of Iran's government. In a separate development last week, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fired his foreign minister and appointed the country's nuclear chief in his place without explaining the reasons for the abrupt change.
Iran has 12 vice presidents but Rahimi is the most senior among them. Judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi was quoted by the semi-official ISNA news agency as saying he will have to stand trial.
"The first vice president is facing charges that need to be investigated. Then, we should see whether it will lead to his conviction or acquittal," ISNA quoted Ejehi as saying.
Ejehi said some people arrested for corruption have implicated Rahimi in the case. Earlier this year, judiciary officials said they arrested several people in an embezzlement case but made no connection with Rahimi.
But prominent conservative lawmaker Elias Naderan has called Rahimi the "leader of the corruption circle," and another lawmaker, Ali Motahari, had urged the judiciary to prosecute the vice president.