* Faezeh Rafsanjani sentenced over "anti-state propaganda"
* Detention comes as brother Mehdi expected in Iran
* Influential Rafsanjani family under pressure since 2009
By Yeganeh Torbati
DUBAI, Sept 23 The daughter of influential
former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was taken to
prison late on Saturday to serve a six-month sentence for
"spreading anti-state propaganda," Iranian media reported.
Faezeh Rafsanjani, a former member of parliament, was
convicted in January and sentenced to jail.
The conviction is believed to be over an interview she gave
to an opposition news site in which she criticised human rights
violations and economic policy in Iran.
Gholamhossein Esmaili, Iran's prisons chief, was quoted by
the Mehr news agency as saying she was taken to Tehran's Evin
She was detained briefly in 2009 after street protests
against the election that returned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
to power. Protesters said it was rigged in favour of the
incumbent. Faezeh had addressed supporters of defeated candidate
Mirhossein Mousavi, who had gathered in defiance of a ban on
Her latest detention comes as her brother Mehdi Rafsanjani
is expected to return to Iran after living and studying in the
United Kingdom. Officials have said Mehdi should be arrested
upon arrival in Iran, accusing him of fomenting unrest after the
An independent source told Reuters Mehdi was in Dubai and
expected to return to Iran on Sunday.
The wealthy Rafsanjani family has faced heightened pressure
from hardliners since the 2009 vote, which set off the deepest
political crisis and worst unrest in Iran since the 1979 Islamic
The centrist Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, one of the founding
figures of the Islamic Republic and a close aide to the
revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, expressed
sympathy for opposition demonstrators and saw his own power and
influence wane as a result.
In March 2011, he lost his post as head of the state
clerical body, the Assembly of Experts, consolidating the
ascendancy of the hardline Ahmadinejad.