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Iran tightens restrictions on ex-President Khatami

Mohammed Khatami
TEHRAN: Iran’s opposition said Friday that restrictions have been tightened on reformist former President Mohammed Khatami, barring him from all public meetings for three months.
Khatami has been banned from appearing in the media since mass protests against the government in 2009-2010, but continues to wield considerable power behind the scenes.
The opposition Kalemeh website said the Special Clerical Court had sent Khatami a letter asking him “not to take part in any political ceremonies and publicity for three months.”
This was said to include any meetings, theater performances and concerts, and barred individuals, government and seminary officials and student union members from meeting with him.
The new restrictions were first revealed by Khatami’s nephew Mohammed Reza Tabesh, a member of Parliament, earlier this week.
The letter was said to have been signed by the head of the Special Clerical Court, Ebrahim Raisi, the hard-line runner-up in this May’s presidential election.
The conservative Fars and Mehr news agencies said on Thursday that unnamed officials had denied the existence of the letter or the new restrictions.
But outspoken member of Parliament Ali Motahari — considered a political moderate — criticized the new measures, saying they were illegal without proper consultation with Khatami or his lawyers.
“We have a good constitution and the Parliament has also devised good laws but some councils and institutions such as the Special Clerical Court bypass the constitution and the Parliament and drag the country toward autocracy,” he said in comments carried by the semi-official ISNA news agency.
“Imposing more restrictions, at a time when public opinion is opposed to the continuation of the house arrest is regrettable,” Motahari added.

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