Den saudi-arabiske kongen sendte lørdag ut en erklæring med full støtte til president Hosni Mubarak. Iran derimot støtter demonstrantene.

In a statement carried by Saudi’s state news agency, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud said protests rocking Egypt were instigated by «infiltrators,» who «in the name of freedom of expression, have infiltrated into the brotherly people of Egypt, to destabilize its security.»

The king said protesters had been «exploited to spew out their hatred in destruction . . . inciting a malicious sedition,» according to the statement, posted on the English website of the Saudi Press Agency.

The statement said the king telephoned Mr. Mubarak early Saturday and had been «reassured about the situation in Egypt.» Saudi Arabia and Egypt have been strong allies in the region, representing two of the most important U.S.-allied Arab bulwarks against Iran.

Siden Saudi-Arabia også har gitt asyl til den flyktende tunisiske presidente, Ben Ali, gjør kongedømmet det klart at det står på autokratenes side. Det kan ha omkostninger i den omrokering som foregår. Alle regimene i Midtøsten frykter gatas parlament. Men få tør å markere motstand så klart som Saudi-Arabia.

Iran derimot hevder å støtte demonstrantene. Men hvor dypt stikker støtten?

Iranian officials, meanwhile, voiced continued support on Saturday for demonstrators in Egypt. The Shiite-led Iranian government in Tehran has long been at odds with its neighboring Arab states, in particular Mr. Mubarak’s Egypt.

A spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry said Saturday that Tehran expected Egypt to «respond to (protesters’) rightful demands and refrain from exerting violence,» according to Press TV, Iran’s English-language state media.

Saudi Arabia Voices Support for Mubarak