TEHRAN  - A Tehran court has jailed dissident Mehdi Khazali for six years for acting against national security, media reports said Tuesday.

Khazali was charged in Tehran’s Revolutionary court for “disturbing national security and propaganda against the establishment,” the Fars news agency reported, quoting defence lawyer Mostafa Tork Hamedani. Khazali, released on bail in June after being arrested in January, will appeal the verdict, the lawyer said.

AFP could not independently confirm the report. In February 2012, Khazali had been reportedly convicted of the same charges, and was handed sentences including 14 years in jail, according to human rights organisations.

A fierce critic of hardline ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Khazali has been arrested on several occasions in recent years.

He was among scores of reformist politicians, journalists, human rights campaigners and student activists detained in popular protests against Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election in 2009.

A medical doctor and veteran of the 1980-88 war with Iraq, Khazali is the son of Ayatollah Abolqasem Khazali, a long-serving member of the Assembly of Experts, the clerical body that oversees the work of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

His father has so far distanced himself from him over his anti-regime stance.

Last month, Iran freed more than a dozen dissidents, notably prominent rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, amid pledges by newly elected President Hassan Rouhani of more political and cultural freedom.