By opposing police enforcing morality rules, Iran's president pushes back against hard-liners

Iran's president is rejecting the idea of police officers enforcing morality rules, staking a clear position against hard-liners who largely oppose his outreach to the West.

President Hassan Rouhani has made statements opposing the idea twice in recent days, including Monday in a speech broadcast on Iranian state television. He says police should be responsible to enforce the law, not different interpretations of Islam.

Last week, Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, the head of Iran's powerful Assembly of Experts, said the country's executive branch must enforce Islam otherwise the religion will reject it.

The back-and-forth comments come ahead of summer, when hard-liners want women to be veiled to their standards. But it also comes as hard-liners oppose Rouhani's outreach to the West and negotiations with world powers on the country's nuclear program.