Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's ally released without explanation
Mr Ahmadinejad, who is on a visit to Egypt, had threatened to "investigate" the arrest of Saeed Mortazavi, Tehran's former chief prosecutor, on his return.
A video featuring Mr Mortazavi had formed a central plank of corruption accusations levelled by Mr Ahmadinejad against his most powerful political rivals, a set of brothers including the speaker of parliament and the head of the judiciary.
The row brought into the open the full rift at the heart of Iranian politics. Mr Ahmadinejad will step down as president this summer, and the speaker, Ali Larijani, his most implacable enemy, is a favourite to replace him.
The country's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, long ago lost confidence in Mr Ahmadinejad. However, it is possible that, as the final arbiter of Iranian policy, he ordered Mr Mortazavi's release in order to persuade Mr Ahmadinejad to "go quietly", or at least to detract attention from the split.
Posted by: tipper 2013-02-06