TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian authorities on Monday arrested a former vice president who served under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in the second such detention of a senior official from the hard-line former leader's administration, the official IRNA news agency reported.
Hamid Baghaei, who was Ahmadinejad's vice president in charge of executive affairs, was arrested on Monday, IRNA quoted judicial spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi as saying. The report did not provide further details.
Ahmadinejad was best-known in the West for his harsh rhetoric toward Israel, at one point saying it should be wiped off the map. Inside Iran, his administration faced a growing chorus of corruption allegations, particularly during its latter years.
President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate who succeeded Ahmadinejad in 2013, has repeatedly alleged widespread corruption under the administration of his predecessor.
In January, Iran's supreme court convicted and sentenced former Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi to five years in prison and fined him 10 billion rials ($300,000).
Abdoreza Davari, a close ally of Ahmadinejad, was quoted by a news website as saying Baghaei had not been in contact with Ahmadinejad's office in recent months.
"Baghaei was not so close to Ahmadinejad. I have not seen Mr. Baghaei recently." Davari was quoted as saying by entekhab.ir.