Agence France-Presse

Iranian ex-president Rafsanjani's daughter released from jail

Faezeh Hashemi, the politically active and outspoken daughter of Iranian ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, was released from jail on Tuesday, said Iran's state-run Press TV, a high-profile release that comes three months before the country holds presidential elections. 

“Mrs. Faezeh Hashemi was released from prison today,” Press TV cited her her legal representative, Gholamali Riahi, as saying. 

She was jailed on charges of spreading propaganda against the state and last year forbidden from political activity for the next five years, according to Press TV.

It is unclear whether or not she will be able to vote in Iran's upcoming presidential election -- in which some are already calling on her father to run

Tehran mayor Gholamhossein Karbaschi recently threw his weight behind a run by Rafsanjani, saying if he decided to run, “I and many other will definitely support him," according to the Tehran Times

But the ex-president's daughter is reportedly something of a political operative herself. PBS' Tehran Bureau described her as "by far the highest profile female politician working within the shifting boundaries of the Iranian regime," adding: 

She has always presented herself as a reformist. In early interviews, she advocated making hejab optional for women. For years a leading supporter of women's sports in Iran, she was often seen bicycle riding and skiing. The popular reformist magazine Shahrvand was shut down due to an interview with her, in which she accused Evin's infamous administrators of murdering her father-in-law, Hassan Lahouti, in the early years of the Islamic Republic. 

Her father, Rafsanjani, is a major powerplayer in Iran but his long history of political involvement can make him controversial among reformists. 

The family has been under close particularly scrutiny by the authorities ever since some members, including Hashemi, lent their support to reformist challengers in the country's disputed 2009 presidential election, said the Associated Press

Hashemi's lawyer earlier stated that the accusations against his daughter were based on interviews she had given to journalists, said AP. She was jailed last September, said Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Rafsanjani currently heads the policy-oriented Expediency Council, said Press TV

Related Stories