Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has criticized hard-line Muslim clerics for expressing admiration for Afghanistan's ruling Taleban.
At a news conference, Saturday, in Tehran, Mr. Khatami said admiration of the hard-line Taleban is not acceptable. He said Iran doesn't want Taleban-style Islam or security.
Friday, a hard-line judge (Qorbanali Dorri Najafabadi) told worshipers in Tehran 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 Iranian judiciary.
The Iranian president also restated his interest in improving relations with Washington, but says the process is "in the hands of the Americans."