Khatami aide denies report of travel ban

TEHRAN — A close aide to Iran's reformist former president Mohammad Khatami denied to AFP on Tuesday a media report that he had been banned from travelling outside the Islamic republic.

Iran's Fars news agency reported that the cleric, a key supporter of the opposition movement, had been banned from international travel. It quoted another cleric who himself quoted an unidentified security official.

"This news is false. I do not confirm it," the aide said.

Khatami lawyer Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabai also denied the report.

"The travel ban is a lie," he was quoted as saying on the website of Baran, an organisation run by Khatami.

Khatami, once rated as a key pillar of the Islamic regime, has been severely criticised by hardliners for supporting opposition groups that erupted in protest after the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last June.

Khatami was president from 1997 to 2005.

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