TEHRAN, Iran (AP) _ Police have arrested 45 people suspected of involvement in a recent attack on the brother of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported today.

Police made the arrests in Qom, south of Tehran, where Hadi Khamenei was attacked on Feb. 11 shortly before he was to address a gathering at a mosque. It was not clear when the arrests were made.

Hadi Khamenei, 51, owns the liberal newspaper World of Islam, and serves as a press adviser to President Mohammad Khatami.

His political views are moderate, in contrast to those of his elder brother, who leads the hard-line faction in the Iranian hierarchy.

Witnesses said Hadi Khamenei suffered a skull fracture when hard-line vigilantes beat him with sticks and iron bars.

The hard-line faction is engaged in a power struggle with moderates led by Khatami.