Ahmadinejad’s Aide Returns to Jail After Leave, Medical Care

Dec. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s press adviser, who received medical care during a four-day leave from jail, returned to prison today, the Iranian Students News Agency reported, citing a top judiciary official.

Ali Akbar Javanfekr checked himself into the jail where he is serving a six-month sentence for the publication of controversial material, Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi said according to the state-run news agency.

Javanfekr received treatment for heart problems at the capital’s Atieh hospital, according to reports published today in local media including the Tehran-based Etemaad newspaper. Ahmadinejad visited his aide in the hospital yesterday.

Ahmadinejad’s requests to visit his media adviser while in detention were turned down by the head of the judiciary, leading to an exchange of verbal diatribes between the two men. The incident highlighted frictions in the ruling elite at a time when international sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program are taking their toll on the economy.

Javanfekr, who oversaw the official Islamic Republic News Agency, was imprisoned on Sept. 26 on charges of insulting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and publishing an article questioning the history of Iran’s head-to-toe robe worn by some women. He was cleared of this accusation last month, according to a Nov. 19 report in the Iranian Students News Agency, though he will still serve time in Evin prison for publishing offensive material on Islamic norms, ISNA said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ladane Nasseri in Dubai at lnasseri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net