Iran jails Ahmadinejad’s vice president over graft

This file photo taken on April 5, 2017 shows former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (R) and his former vice president, Hamid Baghaie, holding hands during a press conference in the capital Tehran. (AFP)
Updated 13 March 2018
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Iran jails Ahmadinejad’s vice president over graft

TEHRAN: Iran on Tuesday jailed Hamid Baghai, a vice president under former hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, following his conviction for corruption, media reports said.
“Police officers apprehended and transferred the convict to prison,” the Tehran prosecutor’s office said, cited by the Fars news agency.
Baghai was sentenced in December to 15 years in jail for embezzlement and illegal business transactions.
He is very close to Ahmadinejad, serving as his deputy before becoming chief of staff during the populist former president’s second term.
The 48-year-old had been investigated for irregularities while in office and was imprisoned for seven months in 2015, although the reasons for this were never made public.
Ahmadinejad and Baghai both hoped to stand in the May 2017 presidential election, but the conservative-dominated Guardians Council rejected their candidacy.


French minister warns of risk of ‘perpetual war’ if no Syria deal reached

Updated 39 min 31 sec ago
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French minister warns of risk of ‘perpetual war’ if no Syria deal reached

UN, New York: France warned Monday that the Middle East risked “perpetual war” unless a peace agreement can be reached in Syria.
Syrian President “Bashar Assad but also those who support him have a responsiblity to work for a political solution,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters at the United Nations.
“If not, we risk heading toward a sort of perpetual war in the area,” he said.

Meanwhile, France has called for stronger international sanctions on Libyans who stand in the way of a political solution in the conflict-ridden country.
The current situation "forces us to show greater firmness toward those who want to insist on the status quo for their sole benefit," Le Drian said, urging sanctions against the "militia members who threaten Tripoli."