President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sier det er den iranske revolusjonen som nå har spredt seg til Egypt. Egypterne har rett til å bli fri, sa Ahmadinejad, samtidig som opposisjonelle ble arrestert.
En anmodning om å få demonstrere til støtte for egypterne 14. februar er avslått, og Revolusjonsgarden varslet at ethvert forsøk vil bli knust.
Ahmadinejad was speaking to crowds gathered in Tehran today to mark the 32nd anniversary of the revolution.
In a reference to recent antigovernment protests in Tunisia, Egypt, and other Arab countries, Ahmadinejad said, «Our revolution was not an ordinary political or national move, but as we see today, after 32 years, it led a global awakening and a new movement in the Middle East and North Africa.»
During his speech to a crowd gathered in Tehran’s Azadi Square, Ahmadinejad also called on Egyptians and other Arab people to defend their rights to be free.
«You have the right to be free. You have the right to national sovereignty. You have the right to express your views and will freely on national and international affairs,» he said. «You have the right to choose what kind of government you want and who should rule you.»
«Despite all the (West’s) complicated and satanic designs … a new Middle East is emerging without the Zionist regime and U.S. interference, a place where the arrogant powers will have no place,» Ahmadinejad told the crowd.
He also urged Egyptian protesters to persevere until there is a regime change. «It’s your right to be free. It’s your right to exercise your will and sovereignty … and choose the type of government and the rulers.»
After his address, Ahmadinejad carried a placard reading, «Death to Israel.»
The Iranian leadership’s attempt to capitalize on the Egyptian uprising is underscored by its effort to deprive its own opposition of any chance to reinvigorate a movement swept from the streets in a heavy military crackdown in 2009.
Ahead of the anniversary, Iranian security forces arrested several opposition activists, including aides to Iran’s opposition leaders.
Authorities also placed Mahdi Karroubi, one of Iran’s opposition leaders, under house arrest, posting security officers at his door in response to his calls for an Iranian opposition rally in support of anti-government demonstrations in Egypt.
Karroubi’s website, sahamnews.org, said security officials informed Karroubi that the restrictions would remain in place until after Feb. 14.
Karroubi, and Iran’s other top opposition figure, Mir Hossein Mousavi, have asked the government for permission to hold a Feb. 14 gathering in support of the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.
State Prosecutor Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi rejected the demand on Wednesday, warning of repercussions if the rally takes place. Hossein Hamedani, a senior commander of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard, said any attempt by the opposition to rally supporters on Feb. 14 would be crushed.
Mousavi’s aide Saleh Noghrehkar and Sadroddin Beheshti, son of another Mousavi aide, Ali Reza Beheshti, were among those arrested, according to opposition website kaleme.com. The website also said another opposition activist, Fariba Ebtehaj, a close aide to former reformist vice president, Masoumeh Ebtekar, has also been arrested.
Ahmadinejad: Egyptian protests herald new Mideast
(AP) – 3 hours ago