Tehran: Iran has barred reformist former
president Mohammad Khatami from leaving the country ahead of a
trip he planned to make to Japan for a nuclear disarmament
conference, a pro-reform website said on Thursday.
The Parlemannews.ir website of the reformist bloc in
parliament did not provide details of any reasons given for
the travel ban.
Another source, who spoke on condition of anonymity,
told agency that the "police have informed Khatami that he may
not leave the country."
By mid-afternoon, there had been no confirmation from
official media of the order.
Khatami, whose 1997-2005 presidency saw a thaw with
the West under his "dialogue of civilisations," had been
invited to attend the annual nuclear disarmament conference in
The former president has been the target of virulent
criticism by regime hardliners since he backed former prime
minister Mir Hossein Mousavi against incumbent Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad in last June's presidential election.
Khatami, 66, has repeatedly denounced government
crackdowns on the opposition, which denounced Ahmadinejad's
re-election as fraudulent.
He has also called for the release of hundreds of
people arrested during opposition demonstrations, some of whom
have been sentenced to stiff prison terms.
First Published: Thursday, April 15, 2010, 19:06