Thursday, October 8, 1998 Published at 14:27 GMT 15:27 UK
World: South Asia
Iran reports border clash with Taleban
Iranian troops on exercise near the Afghan border
Tehran radio said Taleban militiamen fired light and heavy weapons at a border post in the Salehabad region of Torbat-e-Jam, in the north of Khorasan province, at 6:30 am local time (0300 GMT).
Iranian Revolutionary Guards "severely responded," forcing the Taliban forces to retreat, it said.
The clash was reported shortly after the United Nations envoy for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi left Tehran expressing optimism that the threat of war was diminishing.
Last week tension rose further between the two countries when the Taleban authorities accused Iranian planes of violating Afghan air space.
Relations between Iran and Afghanistan deteriorated after the killing in August of nine Iranian diplomats and an Iranian journalist in northern Afghanistan. Iran is currently conducting military exercises involving tens of thousands of troops on its border with Afghanistan.
There has been a growing war of words betwen Tehran and the Taleban; a spokesman in Kabul has warned that the Taleban would "target Iranian cities" if their territory was attacked.
No sign of apology
Taleban leaders blamed the killings of the Iranian diplomats on irregulars who seized the city from opposition forces.
Iran has demanded an apology from the Taleban and wants those who responsible for the killings to be punished.
The Taleban say the Iranians were in Mazar-e-Sharif for military and not diplomatic purposes at the time of their death.
Afghanistan is now 90% controlled by the Taleban, which wants to take over the country's seat at the United Nations, still held by the ousted government of Burhannudin Rabbani.