A former Iranian president has said exporting violence to other countries is "treason" against Islam and Iran's 1979 revolution, an apparent accusation that the country's hard-line rulers are engineering unrest abroad.
Mohammad Khatami, a reformist and popular intellectual, made no mention of U.S. and Iraqi accusations that Iran is arming and training Shiite extremists in neighboring Iraq. But he said Iran should avoid actions that give it a bad image.
Engineering violence in other countries would be contrary to the goals of the 1979 Islamic revolution led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Khatami said.
"What did Imam (Khomeini) want and what did he mean by 'exporting the revolution'? Taking up arms and causing explosions in other countries and establishing groups to carry out sabotage in other countries? Imam was strongly opposed to these behaviors," Khatami told students in northern Iran on Friday.
"This is the biggest treason to Islam and the revolution."