Middle East

Iran's Ali Akbar Javanfekr, Ahmadinejad adviser, jailed

Ali Akbar Javanfekr in Tehran in September 2009
Image caption News of Mr Javanfekr's arrest came as Mr Ahmadinejad was in New York

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's top press adviser has been jailed for six months for publishing material said to be insulting to Iran's top leader.

Ali Akbar Javanfekr, who is also the head of the state-run Irna news agency, is one of dozens of Mr Ahmadinejad's allies detained in the last year.

Mr Javanfekr was detained on Wednesday.

Correspondents say this is the latest in the fallout from a political feud between the president and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Mr Javanfekr is alleged to have written in an official publication that the practice of women wearing the chador, Iran's head-to-toe black veil, was not originally an Iranian practice, but an import.

This was considered offensive by hardline Iranian clerics.

News of the arrest came as Mr Ahmadinejad was speaking at the UN General assembly in New York.

Mr Javanfekr was arrested briefly last year, but was released at Mr Ahmadinejad's insistence.

This time it seems hardline opponents of the Iranian president have taken advantage of his absence to put in jail the man who has been for many years his media adviser and spin doctor, says the BBC's Kasra Naji.

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