Hassan Rouhani’s supporters see his brother’s arrest as part of efforts to undermine him during his second term in office

The brother of Iran’s moderate president, Hassan Rouhani, has been arrested amid escalating tensions between the government and the country’s hardline judiciary ahead of his swearing-in ceremony next month.

Hossein Fereidoun, a top presidential aide who played a senior role in more than two years of high-level negotiations between Iran and the west over Tehran’s nuclear programme, was taken to prison after failing to secure bail on Saturday, local agencies reported.

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