Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has criticised as “very ugly” a decision by the country’s judiciary to arrest one of his close allies.
Saeed Mortazavi is Tehran’s former prosecutor.
He was previously suspended from his post over the deaths of three protesters in custody following the 2009 presidential election.
There’s been no official explanation for his detention.
But some reports suggest it could be linked to a growing rift between Ahmadinejad and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
With the presidential election just four months away, a power struggle between the two appears to be intensifying.
It even spilled over into a parliamentary session two days ago when Mortazavi’s name came up during an unprecedented public row.
Ahmadinejad hit out at one of Khamenei’s closest allies, accusing the parliamentary speaker’s family of corruption.
Iran’s president was vehemently opposed to parliament’s call for Mortazavi’s dismissal and has promised a full investigation on his return from talks in Egypt.