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Iranian President Warns Against Arrest of Allies

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (file photo)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has warned authorities against arresting members of his government on charges of corruption.

Ahmadinejad said Wednesday the arrests are politically motivated and an attempt to put pressure on his government.

His comments come nearly a week after a former deputy foreign minister and close ally, Mohammed Sharif Malekzadeh, was arrested on financial corruption charges. At least two other officials were also arrested last week.

The arrests come amid a growing political rift between Ahmadinejad and the clerical establishment over the direction of Iran's future.

On Monday, Iran's Mehr news agency said lawmakers have summoned Ahmadinejad for questioning about what they call government "irregularities," related to delays in nominating a sports minister and spending parliamentary-approved funds on the Tehran Metro.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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