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Ahmadinejad’s right-hand man sentenced to prison

The sentencing of Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei may be the final blow to former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad regaining his spot in the limelight.
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (R) and First Vice President Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei attend a ceremony in Tehran July 22, 2009. Ahmadinejad, re-elected for a second four-year term in a disputed presidential vote last month, has come under fire from fellow conservatives and hardliners for appointing Mashaie last Thursday. 

Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, who was once accused of being part of a “deviant current” in the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad administration, has been sentenced to six years and six months for “acting against national security.” He joins Ali Akbar Javanfekr, a former media adviser who was just sentenced to four years in prison, and a handful of other Ahmadinejad-era Cabinet members who received prison sentences.

According to Gholamhossein Ismaeli, chief prosecutor for Tehran province, Mashaei received five years for actions against national security, one year for propaganda against the government and six months for insulting judiciary officials. Ismaeli, who is also head of the appellate court for Tehran province, said the judiciary is still reviewing other charges against Mashaei.

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