x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Son of Iranian politician dies in Dubai hotel

Police say they believe he committed suicide.

The son of a prominent Iranian politician has been found dead in a hotel in Dubai. The body of Ahmad Rezaei, 31, was discovered in his room in the four-star Gloria Hotel in Dubai Media City at 8pm on Saturday.

Police say they believe he committed suicide.

The dead man's father is Mohsen Rezaei, the former commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and now secretary-general of the powerful Expediency Council, an advisory body to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

A leading conservative, Mohsen Rezaei was one of three candidates who contested the 2009 presidential election against the successful incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Condolence messages were posted on his website yesterday.

Ahmad Rezaei left Iran for the US in 1998. He accused Ayatollah Khamenei and the former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani of being responsible for the murders of a number of dissidents and intellectuals.

The accusations placed his father in an awkward political position at the time. Mohsen Rezaei claimed his son suffered from a mental illness and had been deceived by US agents who promised him a job with Nasa.

The son returned to Iran quietly in 2005, although in late 2009 some Iranian websites claimed he had gone back to the US.

Ahmad Rezaei was married at a young age to an Iranian woman whom he divorced before leaving for the US. He is believed to have been married and divorced more than once since.

Police in Dubai would confirm only that a man had been found dead in the Gloria Hotel.

They declined to reveal his identity but said he was an American citizen. They said he had been in the UAE on business for the past four months, and had been living in the hotel for two months.

"Forensic tests suggest that he had been dead for 12 hours," said Brig Khalil Al Mansouri, the head of Dubai Police's criminal investigation department.

"There is no criminal suspicion but it appears to be a suicide."

wissa@thenational.ae

* With additional reporting by Maryam Sinaiee and Associated Press