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Iranian Court Dismisses President-Appointed Official

Former Tehran prosecutor Said Mortazavi attends a hanging in Tehran in 2007.
An Iranian court has fired a Labor Ministry official who has been linked to the deaths of prisoners.

The decision, announced on July 30, by the Supreme Administrative Court comes after Iranian lawmakers filed a suit against Said Mortazavi, who was head of the social-security department at the Labor Ministry.

The suit was filed by conservative lawmakers opposed to President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, who appointed Mortazavi to the post at the Labor Ministry last year.

Mortazavi was allegedly involved in the prosecution of several dissidents and in closing down pro-reform newspapers while he was Tehran's chief prosecutor.

He was also linked to several deaths, including that of Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, who was arrested in 2003 for taking pictures outside a Tehran prison.

She later died in custody.

Based on reporting by ISNA, IRNA, AP, and AFP