Iran's industry minister has been found guilty of fraud, dealing a fresh blow to his close ally Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president.
Ali Akbar Mehrabian was convicted by an Iranian court over claims by a researcher that he had stolen his idea for an "earthquake saferoom'' - a design for a fortified room in homes in case of disaster, local media reported on Monday.
An appeals court upheld that the design belonged to researcher Farzan Salimi and convicted Mehrabian of fraud but did not prescribe any punishment, according to Iranian newspapers.
The conviction is the latest embarrassment to Ahmadinejad, who has already been pressed to drop his choice of vice-president, had his intelligence minister fired on Sunday and had his culture minister quit on him on the same day.
The rift with his own conservative camp comes on top of the upheaval over Iran's disputed June 12 presidential election, which the opposition claims was rigged in Ahmadinejad's favour over challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi.>>>
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