Hard-liners urge arrest of top Ahmadinejad aide

An Iranian hard-line publication is calling for the arrest of one of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's closest confidants amid a widening political power struggle.

The demand Wednesday by the Ya Lesarat weekly does not mean authorities must act. But it reflects the fierce battles between Ahmadinejad and ultra-conservative forces who accuse him of trying to challenge the authority of Iran's Supreme Leader.

The publication says it's now time to arrest presidential chief-of-staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei. Authorities already have arrested up to 25 people Ahmadinejad loyalists in recent weeks.

Hard-liners consider Mashaei the leader of a so-called "deviant current" seeking to shape the next government after Ahmadinejad steps down in 2013.