Tehran, 3 September 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Iranian Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi today said that President Mohammad Khatami (pictured) has rejected a compromise with his hard-line opponents over two key reform bills that seek to curb the conservatives' power. The two pieces of legislation, a bill on enhancing the president's powers and a bill on elections that would bar the hard-line Guardians Council from vetting candidates for elections, are seen as vital for Khatami to implement the reform program on which he was elected.
Abtahi said the council offered a compromise under which it would approve the bill on the president's powers provided that the bill on elections was withdrawn. But Abtahi said the president did not accept the compromise.
The reformist-dominated parliament has passed the bills, but the council has vetoed them, claiming they were contrary to Islam and the constitution.