Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has criticized hardline Muslim clerics for expressing admiration for Afghanistan's ruling Taleban.
In a news conference in Tehran today (Saturday), Mr. Khatami said admiration of the hardline Taleban is not acceptable. He said Iran wants neither Taleban-style Islam nor security.
Friday, a hardline judge (Qorbanali Dorri Najafabadi) told worshipers in Tehran that the Taleban has managed to restore security to the Afghan People. He asked why Iran could not do the same.
At his news conference, President Khatami said the judiciary's increased use of public floggings was hurting Iran's image abroad. He also regretted the recent arrest of feminist film director Tahmineh Milani, who is accused of acting against the Islamic state in her movies.
Mr. Khatami's remarks are the latest salvo in a dispute between reformers led by the President and the conservative judiciary.