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Iran arrests top Ahmadinejad ally

TEHRAN: A former Iranian vice president and chief-of-staff of ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was arrested on Saturday, the website of the Tehran prosecutor said. Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie was arrested and is in detention," it said, without specifying the reason why he was held. It simply said he was arrested by the police who were acting on the orders of the judiciary. Mashaie served as first vice president in 2009 at the start of Ahmadinejad's contested second term in office. But his tenure was cut short and he…

Ahmadinejad writes open letter to Trump

TEHRAN: Iran's ex-president Mahmud Ahmadinejad published Sunday an open letter to Donald Trump, welcoming his criticism of the US political system but taking issue with his visa ban and attitude to women. Many Iranians see the new US president as cut from the same cloth as Ahmadinejad, who shocked the establishment with his sudden rise to power in 2005, combining hardline rhetoric and populist economic policies to win a powerful following among Iran's lower classes. At times in the long and rambling letter, published…