Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has expressed disappointment at the arrest of his press advisor, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, by the Iranian judiciary and he promised to follow up on the matter.

Upon his return from a five-day trip to New York to attend the UN General Assembly, Ahmadinejad told reporters: “When I heard the news of Mr. Javanfekr’s arrest, I was deeply saddened that, when the political world is about to hear the voice of the Iranian nation at the threshold of the president’s speech, such a thing takes place.”

Ali Akbar Javanfekr, the head of the state news agency IRNA and a chief Ahmadinejad ally, was arrested even as the Iranian president was giving a speech at the United Nations General Assembly.

Javanfekr had been sentenced to one year in jail for publishing material against Islamic principles and public decency, a reference to articles regarding hijab and the place of women in Islam. The articles have been criticized by conservative factions of the establishment and were deemed inappropriate by the judiciary.