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Ahmadinejad's aide jailed for insulting Iran's supreme leader

Ali Akbar Javanfekr, President Ahmadinejad's top press adviser, was jailed for publishing material deemed insulting to Iran's supreme leader.

Ali akbar javanfekr arrested ahmadinejad press adviser september 2012Enlarge
Ali Akbar Javanfekr, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's top press adviser, in 2009. Javanfekr was arrested on September 26, 2012, and will serve a six-month jail sentence for publishing material that was deemed insulting to Iran's supreme leader. (ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's top press adviser, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, has been jailed for six months after being found guilty of publishing material that was deemed insulting to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader.

Javanfekr is one of many Ahmadinejad allies who have been detained since a political fued between the president and Khamenei in April 2011, said the Associated Press. The hardline establishment came down hard on Ahmadinejad and his supporters after the president briefly challenged the supreme leader.

Javanfekr, the head of Iran's state news agency (IRNA), was viewed as one of the "deviant current" of advisers seeking to undermine the role of the clergy, Reuters said.

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News of his arrest came as Ahmadinejad addressed the United Nations General Assembly. The AP noted that Ahmadinejad had shielded his press adviser in the past, and it was speculated that Iranian authorities took advantage of his absence to arrest Javanfekr.

Last November, Javanfekr was convicted of "publishing materials contrary to Islamic norms," and banned from journalism for three years.

Javanfekr was accused of writing in an official publication that the practice of women wearing the head-to-toe chador was an imported practice, the BBC reported. Hardline Iranian clerics deemed this offensive.

Three months later, he was convicted of insulting Khamenei on his personal website, Reuters said, though it was unclear when or how this happened.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iran/120927/ali-akbar-javanfekr-jailed-insulting-irans-supreme-leader