Iran sentences former vice president to 5 years in prison for unspecified crimes

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TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's supreme court has sentenced a former vice president to five years in prison and ordered him to pay a 10 billion rial ($300,000) fine, the country's official news agency said.

The IRNA report late Wednesday did not specify what Mohammad Reza Rahimi, a top aide to ex-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was convicted of but said the verdict was binding. It also said the court ordered Rahimi to pay compensation equivalent to some $800,000.

A local court had initially sentenced Rahimi to 15 years prison, but the supreme court reduced the term to five years and three months, IRNA said. Rahimi has long maintained his innocence

Opponents of Ahmadinejad's hard-line government have long accused his administration of massive corruption. Ahmadinejad's successor, President Hassan Rouhani, in December criticized growing corruption in the country in unusually blunt terms, saying that bribes once paid secretly are now being disbursed in the open.

Ahmadinejad has repeatedly claimed that he led the "cleanest administration" in Iran's history.

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