Reuters: Iran has arrested six oil industry managers in a case that “could have international aspects”, Tehran’s prosecutor-general was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
TEHRAN, June 15 (Reuters) – Iran has arrested six oil industry managers in a case that “could have international aspects”, Tehran’s prosecutor-general was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
“Six oil industry staff, including some retired and former officials, have been arrested two weeks ago,” the Sharq newspaper quoted Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi as saying.
“They were released on bail after 48 hours, and the cases of some others are under investigation.”
He did not specify the type of managers involved. Iran’s oil industry is controlled by the state sector, so most managers are state officials.
In May Ahmadinejad dismissed Oil Minister Massoud Mirkazemi and two other ministers as part of a plan to slim down the government by merging ministries and reducing their number to 17 from 21.
The move worsened relations between Ahmadinejad and conservative-dominated parliament as many lawmakers and other members of the conservative ruling elite saw the move as the president’s attempt to control Iran’s main source of income.
The Oil Ministry handles all aspects of the oil and gas industry including direct control of production and the National Iranian Oil Company, which sells Iran’s fossil fuels around the world.
Dolatabadi declined to give further details but said the case was among “the most important the judiciary was looking at”, as Iran’s economy is largely reliant on petrodollars.
He asked media not to speculate on the arrests, which come at a sensitive time for the Oil Ministry.
(Writing by Mitra Amiri, Editing by Jane Baird)