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Iranian Authorities Bar Reformist Ex-President Khatami From Attending Meeting

Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has reportedly been banned from leaving his house several times in recent months.

Reports from Iran say the authorities have prevented former reformist President Mohammad Khatami from leaving his residence in Tehran to attend a meeting.

The opposition Sahamnews website reported late on October 18 that Khatami was due to meet with his former ministers at his Baran foundation, but security forces told him he was not allowed to leave his house.

"A similar order was given to [Khatami's] bodyguards, prohibiting the head of the reformist government from leaving his house," the report said.

The affiliation of the security agents was not clear.

Another opposition website, Kalameh, had a similar report, and said that Khatami had been banned from leaving his house several times in recent months.

Khatami, who served as president from 1997 to 2005, enjoys great popularity in Iran. He is believed to have played a key role in the reelection of President Hassan Rohani in May by calling on his supporters to vote for Rohani.

Iranian media reported on October 6 that the Special Clerical Court banned Khatami from attending public ceremonies for three months.

The ban is reported to include attending meetings, theater performances, and concerts. It also bars government officials and student-union members from meeting with him.

Khatami, who is also under a media ban, has not publicly commented on the new restrictions against him.

The reasons for the new measures are not clear, and some lawmakers, including Ali Motahari, have asked the authorities for an explanation.

"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 parliament and drag the country toward autocracy," Motahari said in remarks published by the semiofficial ISNA news agency on October 6.

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