The Iranian Parliamentary Speaker has denounced U.S. intervention in Egypt and accused it of supporting violent confrontations among Egyptian protesters.
“Of course you want American-style democracy in the region,” Mehr News quoted Ali Larijani as saying. “If you wanted real democracy, you wouldn’t order that the protesters be attacked by camels and horses.”
Yesterday, on the ninth day of unrest in Egypt, at least five people were killed and 1,500 injured when supporters of President Hosni Mubarak attacked protesters.
Egyptian protesters say the pro-Mubarak forces are police in plainclothes, brought in from various cities and paid by the government to suppress the uprising.
Armed with batons and bludgeons, Mubarak supporters were mounted on camels and horses as they attacked protesters.
Western countries including the U.S. have condemned the violence in Egypt and pleaded for restraint from both sides.
Larijani said: “Today the bullies of the world want to throw dust in the eyes of the people of the Middle East so that they can’t see the truth. But [the bullies] are mistaken; the people of the Middle East have awakened.”
Larijani accused some foreign media of confusing the issue by attributing Marxist leanings to the uprising in Egypt and other popular movements in the region. The leader of Iran’s Parliament adamantly insisted those uprisings are “a kind of Islamic awakening.”
“It is no use cutting off broadcasters and the internet,” he said, referring to measures taken by the Egyptian government to control information. “The Islamic nation has reached maturity.”
The Iranian government also blocked internet and mobile phone services during the mass protests that followed the 2009 presidential elections in Iran.
As in Egypt, Iranian protesters were confronted by violent pro-government forces who left dozens dead and many more injured.