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Wednesday, November 25, 1998 Published at 14:01 GMT

World: Middle East

Khatami supports press freedom

The Iranian President, Mohammad Khatami, has again spoken out in favour of freedom of the press, saying that newspapers should be able to criticise the government.

Mr Khatami told a gathering of journalists in Teheran that such criticism helped to keep governments honest.

However, he asked journalists to work within the framework of the constitution and to respect Islamic values.

Correspondents say Iranian newspapers are coming under increasing pressure from the conservative-dominated judiciary.

A number of newspapers have been closed down for criticising the government.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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