This tactic has been used by hard-line officials against politicians who oppose them, but also against perceived enemies from other walks of life.
Presidents whose allies have come under attack have been largely helpless to protect them.
"Feridun's fate -- whatever it is -- will also affect the political fate of Rohani," the daily Arman predicted in April.
It's not just Rohani. Two of his presidential predecessors, hard-liner Mahmud Ahmadinejad and reformist Mohammad Khatami, experienced similar broadsides-by-association.
'Threat To The Islamic Republic'
Presidents have been also accused of undermining the clerical establishment.
Well to his right on the political spectrum, Ahmadinejad was made out by some to be a potential threat for repeatedly defying the aging supreme leader, Khamenei.
"Today, many of the officials running the country have liberal, Western, and counterrevolutionary views," he said.
Jafari did not single out by name Rohani, who has a doctorate in constitutional law from Glasgow Caledonian University, or any of the members of his cabinet, some of whom are graduates of American universities. But he complained that some officials appeared proud of having obtained their degrees or doctorates from Western universities.
Speaking on March 6, former Iranian nuclear negotiator and onetime presidential candidate Said Jalili blasted the government over what he described as "astronomical salaries." Jalili said that employees outside those privileged, highly paid few are being told to be patient in the face of economic problems.
Rohani's associates had said ahead of the presidential campaign that the leaks were aimed at diminishing his chances of reelection.
In recent months, at least three journalists, a well-known editor, and several administrators of pro-government and reformist Telegram channels have been arrested, prompting warnings over a crackdown.